In September 2018, the California Biodiversity Initiative was launched with publication of the California Biodiversity Initiative Roadmap: A Roadmap for Protecting the State's Natural Heritage. The Roadmap is the result of a months-long collaboration between government agencies, conservation organizations, and herbaria and Universities. Included with the Roadmap was A Charter to Secure the Future of California's Native Biodiversity, developed by a team of leading California biodiversity scientists; the Charter presents a compelling vision for an inclusive initiative that brings all Californians together in saving and celebrating our globally significant biodiversity.
Other important elements include the September 7 Biodiversity Executive Order directing the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to partner in protecting California's native vegetation and animals while restoring and protecting habitat, and establishing September 7 as California Biodiversity Day.
An Executive Order to achieve carbon neutrality accompanied the landmark Senate Bill (SB 100) to achieve 100 percent carbon-free energy in California by 2045. The carbon neutral order specifically requires that climate change solutions not harm native plants and biodiversity.
The Biodiversity Initiative Roadmap outlines scientific and educational approaches already in use and proven to be effective in California. Specifically, the plan calls for work to:
“The new reality of climate change requires a more thoughtful and systemic approach that considers the connections and the vast web of relationships that tie together the myriad elements of California's ecosystems,” Governor Brown wrote in the order.
As part of this effort, Governor Brown revised the 2018-19 budget to allocate $2.5 million to launch California's Biodiversity Initiative. Agency staff and the coalition of scientists are now working to advance the effort and expand funding for this ambitious and paradigm-changing new initiative. Working with Governor Newsom, together we will show the world how an enlightened civilization, applying sound data and shared commitment, lives in a diverse and productive land.
Please join the effort. Your good ideas and unique perspective are needed. The opportunity is great, and the time is now for California's remarkable natural diversity!