On January 27, 2021, President Joe Biden issued a far-reaching Executive Order on Climate with ambitious environmental and conservation goals. Among the many areas within this Executive Order is a section (216 – Conserving Our Nation’s Lands and Waters) to support ’30X30” i.e. protection of at least 30% of the country’s land and water by 2030. Why is this important? Under the pressures of population growth, increasing consumption, habitat destruction, and rising temperatures, species have been disappearing alarmingly fast, going extinct at 100 to 1,000 times the normal rate seen over the past millions of years.
In a major May 2019 biodiversity report, the UN warned that 1 million species are at risk of extinction across the world. To protect biodiversity and mitigate climate change impacts, ambitious conservation goals are necessary to fight climate change and to protect the estimated one million species at risk of going extinct. When done well, protected areas provide durable and equitable benefits to people, biodiversity, and habitats.