While national parks may be the most familiar type of public lands, another type of federal sites make up roughly ten percent of the land area of the US. More than 2,400 U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sites—from the Meadowood Trail System in Virginia to the Imperial Sand Dunes in California—have been set aside for a wide range of uses, including grazing, mining, and energy development, along with scientific, cultural, historical, and recreational purposes. But the BLM is also charged with conserving habitat for the wide variety of fish and wildlife that live on lands and waters managed by the agency. Now, a new BLM policy addresses the growing public concern over habitat fragmentation and the ability of species to move for their daily and seasonal needs.
Center staff have now returned from their adventures in Montreal, attending the UN Biodiversity Conference. Ecological connectivity—the unimpeded movement of species and the flow of natural processes that sustain life on Earth—was an exciting topic of negotiations and discussions during what is officially referred to as the 15th Conference of the Parties (CoP-15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In the final days of the conference, the governments of 196 countries adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework on 18 December 2022. This milestone agreement will now serve as the strategic plan for implementation of the Convention over the period 2022-2030. To date, this is the most significant agreement for bolstering global cooperation to conserve and restore nature.
MONTREAL, DEC. 15, 2022 – Asia is experiencing the highest infrastructure investment rates globally, led by transportation and energy sector expansion. Yet much of this planned infrastructure will bisect some of the world’s most biodiverse areas and affect access to vital natural resources that people depend upon for their livelihoods, such as forest products and clean water.
As the year draws to a close, we are pleased to share with you our 2022 Annual Report. While it would be impossible to cover all of the Center’s work from the past year, we’re taking this opportunity to highlight a few programs and accomplishments that our generous supporters helped make possible. This report is also a celebration of the ways in which partnerships and collaboration with colleagues and institutions worldwide play a vital role in achieving our mission.
WWF, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas’ Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group today launched a new initiative to conserve nature’s connections: Wildlife Connect. The initiative aims to secure ecological connectivity, defined by the Convention on Migratory Species as the “unimpeded movement of species and the flow of natural processes that sustain life on Earth.” From great migrations of wildlife across landscapes and continents to river flows from mountain to sea, nature’s circulatory system of connections is essential for a healthy planet. Yet they are rapidly disappearing, destabilizing ecosystems and the essential benefits they provide for us all.
It is one of the most pressing questions of our time: How do we adapt to the impacts of climate change? October 2022 marked the return of The National Adaptation Forum, which brought together climate adaptation practitioners to share ideas, evaluate opportunities, and create synergies across occupations to try to answer that urgent question. The scale of the challenges is great and because of this, practitioners from artists and municipal officials to natural resource managers came together to work towards systems-level change.
In an era where climate change, habitat loss, poaching and other human impacts put many species at risk, there is a need to understand where animals go and what they need to thrive. A new NASA-funded project—Room to Roam: Y2Y Wildlife Movements (Room2Roam)—aims to accelerate data analysis and coordination to improve wildlife management efforts across borders. The ambitious effort includes a regional network of partners in a major migration corridor of western North America.
How do we keep it healthy, whether it is a family system, organizational system, or ecosystem? The Center’s newest staff addition, Katie Deuel, is on a never-ending quest for the optimal answer. Joining our team as the Senior Conservation Director, Deuel brings a wealth of knowledge about building resilience in all systems, especially in the non-profit environmental world. In her role at the Center, she is responsible for building and managing a high-performing team of program managers, researchers, ecologists, policy specialists, and support staff to carry out conservation goals.
This is a watershed moment for conservation in the United States. The Biden administration’s America the Beautiful initiative—along with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Law—is driving unprecedented levels of funding into the restoration, stewardship, and conservation of our lands and waters. But this influx of federal project delivery funding reveals a gap that needs to be filled: the on-the-ground capacity to get the work done. The Catalyst Fund, with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, aims to build capacity and help local and regional partnerships contribute toward achieving national conservation goals.
Imagine a young male jaguar in the tropical Central American forests looking for a mate. In theory, he could roam from Mexico to Argentina, ensuring that the genetic pool is mixed for a good continuation of the species. In practice, he would have to go through rivers and mountains, but also human-made obstacles such as roads, cities, agricultural fields and other open areas that hinder travel.