For Immediate Release: December 13, 2022
|Scott Webb, Turtle Island Restoration Network, (707) 921-8211, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chance Cutrano, Resource Renewal Institute, (312) 403-3702, email@example.com
Super Coalition of Electeds, Non-Profits, and California go global;
Make monumental commitment to reverse the biodiversity crisis
MONTREAL— The most consequential meeting regarding protecting the world’s biodiversity is taking place at the 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity, or COP15.
Over the last two years, in preparation for these monumental negotiations, a first of its kind super coalition called the California Biodiversity Working Group formed to encourage California to step up and take leadership at COP15. The Working Group is an informal network of state and elected officials, NGOs, and community groups advocating for the state’s strong participation in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and COP15. The coalition founded by Rosalind Helfand is led by the California Natural Resource Agency, Assemblymember Laura Friedman, California Environmental Voters, California Native Plant Society, and Turtle Island Restoration Network.
On December 13, 2022, the government of Quebec announced the formation of the Subnational Task Force of the High Ambition Coalition for People and Nature; California joined this Task Force in a commitment to collective action to protect nature globally. That same day, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot signed a joint declaration between California and Quebec to further partnership on climate change and biodiversity conservation.
During COP15 the Newsom administration organized a series of events, including a workshop on subnational and local leadership towards 30 x 30 moderated by San Jose Assemblymember Ash Kalra (AD-27).
To date, California has done more on the 30×30 initiative than any other government body in the world, committing over 2 billion dollars over the next two years to help reverse the biodiversity crisis.
Over 75 environmental champions have joined the Newsom administration as part of the extended California delegation. Two of those delegates, Scott Webb, Advocacy & Policy Director of Turtle Island Restoration Network, and Chance Cutrano, Director of Programs of Resource Renewal Institute, are environmental leaders representing the San Francisco Bay Area.
“This may be our last real shot at saving our oceans and watersheds,” said Scott Webb, Advocacy & Policy Directory of Turtle Island Restoration Network and leadership committee member on the California Biodiversity Working Group. “I am proud California is stepping up to push for ambitious global protections so we can have a strong framework to develop policies back home to save the places we love here in the Bay Area.”
“We are in a race against time to halt biodiversity loss and reverse climate change. We know the success of these international agreements to save nature require a whole-of-society approach,” said Chance Cutrano, Director of Programs for the Resource Renewal Institute. “The presence of our diverse delegation on the global stage demonstrates that California is already leading the way, bringing our local communities, state officials, indigneous groups, and NGOs together to develop an equitable roadmap to protect and restore the wildlife, parks and open spaces of California.”
Delegates include 7 members of the California legislature, including representatives from the San Francisco Bay Area, State Senator Scott Weiner (SD-11), State Assemblymember Phil Ting (AD 19), and Assemblymember Ash Karla (AD-27). Officials with the Newsom administration include California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot, Deputy Secretary for Biodiversity and Habitat, Jennifer Norris, and Director of the Ocean Protection Council Jenn Eckerle.
Statewide NGO leadership also includes CEO of California Environmental Voters Mary Creasman, Executive Director of CA Native Plant Society Jun Bando, California Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation Beth Pratt, and Director of Sierra Club California Brandon Dawson.
Considered the “Paris Climate ” moment for nature, the 196 countries party to the Convention on Biological Diversity are meeting at COP15 to negotiate the adoption of 22 targets to build an agreement to halt and reverse the world’s sixth extinction. High-level targets advocates are pushing the 196 member nations of the convention include recognition of Indigenous peoples’ rights and central role in protecting biodiversity; protections for at least 30% of lands and waters by 2030; putting an end to unsustainable fishing practices, preventing the spread of invasive species, and equitable funding for developing nations to implement these programs. COP15, which began on December 7th, will conclude on December 19th. At that time Parties to the Convention hope to have a global framework that would lead biodiversity conservation efforts for the next decade.
Turtle Island Restoration Network is a global ocean conservation nonprofit with offices in California and Texas, whose mission is to inspire and mobilize people around the world to protect marine biodiversity and the oceans that sustain all life on Earth.
The Resource Renewal Institute (RRI) is a Marin County-based environmental non-profit that combines education, advocacy, organizational development, and sustainability analysis to leverage the global adoption of long-term environmental management strategies to benefit natural resources, wildlife, and society