A National Strategy for the Biodiversity Crisis
One million species are facing extinction according to the 2019 Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services report, due to habitat destruction, overexploitation of wildlife, climate change, introduction of invasive species and pollution. The loss of biodiversity threatens human, environmental, and wildlife health by reducing ecosystem services such as: zoonotic disease buffering, water filtration, pollination, soil replenishment, provisioning of game species, and recreational opportunities. Biodiversity loss also disproportionately affects people of color, low-income and tribal communities who have been systematically targeted with harmful environmental policies and excluded from conservation efforts.
Key Point 1
1 million species are threatened with extinction while 75% of all land and 66% of aquatic environments are being severely degraded. (UN IPBES)
Key Point 2
Populations of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have declined by an average of 68% with the US alone losing 3 billion birds since 1970 (Science).
Key Point 3
The 5 main drivers of biodiversity loss are habitat destruction, overexploitation of wildlife, climate change, introduction of invasive species and pollution (UN IPBES).
Key Point 4
HR 69 calls for a National Biodiversity Strategy to address the 5 drivers of biodiversity loss while re-establishing the US as a global leader for biodiversity conservation (HR 69).
U.S. House Resolution 69 Summary
- HR 69, introduced by US Representative Joe Neguse (CO), calls for the federal government to establish a National Biodiversity Strategy.
- The strategy would address the 5 drivers of biodiversity loss, secure and restore ecosystem services, and re-establish the nation as a leader in biodiversity conservation.
- Government agencies would be mobilized and coordinated to create a national response to safeguard biodiversity and protect 30% of the nation’s lands and waters.
- The strategy clarifies wildlife’s value in responding to the climate crisis, preventing future pandemics, and addressing racial equity and justice.
How States can Support and Benefit from HR 69
HR 69 can be a beneficial tool for states to use to advance their own conservation goals and protect biodiversity within their borders. It could also benefit states’ endeavors to meet 30×30 goals, mitigate climate change, restore habitats and species, increase wildlife connectivity, and combat invasive species. HR 69 calls for incentives, funding, technical support, and partnership with state governments to achieve this. States may introduce resolutions in support of a national biodiversity strategy and also advocate for their own biodiversity strategies to address their own state needs.