Today's Law As Amended

PDF |Add To My Favorites | print page

AB-3030 Resource conservation: land and ocean conservation goals.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Access to public land, nature, and a healthy environment should be a right for all people, including those who lack equitable access to these resources, as that access is essential to the health, well-being, identity, culture, and economic prosperity of California. Research shows that communities of color are three times more likely than white communities to live in nature-deprived areas and that 70 percent of low-income communities live in nature-deprived areas.
(2) The Natural Resources Agency has made environmental justice and tribal consultation a priority, including by adopting both of the following:
(A) An environmental justice policy in 2003 that describes “environmental justice,” in accordance with Section 65040.12 of the Government Code, as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of people of all races, cultures, incomes, and national origins, with respect to the planning, decisionmaking, development, and implementation of programs, policies, and activities, including, but not limited to, the availability of a healthy environment for all people and the meaningful consideration of recommendations from populations and communities most impacted by pollution into environmental and land use decisions.
(B) A tribal consultation policy in 2012 to ensure effective government-to-government consultation between the Natural Resources Agency, departments of the Natural Resources Agency, and Native American tribes and tribal communities to provide meaningful input into the development of regulations, rules, policies, programs, projects, plans, property decisions, and activities that may affect tribal communities.
(3) California faces a biodiversity and climate crisis, with nature in a steep decline and greenhouse gas emissions not declining at the rate scientists say is needed in the United States and worldwide.
(4) Scientists are documenting a rapid loss of natural areas and wildlife in California, the United States, and throughout the world, including all of the following:
(A) From 2001 to 2017, a quantity of natural areas equal to the size of a football field disappeared to development every 30 seconds in the United States, constituting more than 1,500,000 acres per year.
(B) The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services found that approximately 1,000,000 plant and animal species are threatened with extinction over the coming decades as a result of land conversion, water diversions, development, climate change, invasive species, pollution, other stressors, and direct exploitation, including wildlife trade.
(C) The Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services found that more than 500,000 terrestrial species have insufficient habitat for long-term survival without habitat restoration.
(D) From 2001 to 2017, California has lost more than 1,000,000 acres of natural area.
(E) At least 686 California species are at risk of future extinction, and native species in California have already declined by 20 percent.
(5) Climate change is accelerating the decline of nature in California and the United States.
(6) The Third National Climate Assessment found that climate change is reducing the ability of ecosystems to provide clean water and regulate water flows, limiting the ability of nature to buffer communities against disasters, such as fires, storms, floods, and marine heatwaves. Many of these changes disproportionately impact the health of communities of color and indigenous populations, and have far-reaching effects on marine and terrestrial wildlife, including by altering habitats, forcing changes to migratory patterns, altering the timing of biological events, causing shifts in species distributions, and warming and acidifying the ocean.
(7) Nature, like the climate, is nearing a tipping point where the continued loss and degradation of the natural environment will push many ecosystems and wildlife species past the point of no return, threaten the health and economic prosperity of California and the United States, and increase the costs of natural disasters.
(8) Globally, the existing protections for land, water, the ocean, and wildlife are insufficient to prevent a further decline of nature.
(9) Before Euro-American contact, Native American tribes managed and stewarded California’s terrestrial and marine resources using traditional ecological knowledge and a wide array of traditional practices and techniques to maintain an environment capable of supporting large, thriving human, plant, and animal populations. Today, tribes continue to use these practices, which vary from tribe to tribe, but are generally focused on ecosystem interconnectivity, respecting the carrying capacity of the land, and viewing humans as an integral part of the environment. Tribal methods of protecting and managing the land are an essential and fundamental part of a concerted effort to successfully rebalance the climate and restore biodiversity.
(10) Historically, California has been a leader in conservation, working with stakeholders to develop exemplary programs and regulations that support and protect biodiversity in the marine and terrestrial environments of California.
(11) California should protect land, water, ocean, and wildlife in the state as necessary to prevent the further decline of nature.
(12) This act is not intended to undermine the Fish and Game Commission’s authority in managing the public trust resources of the state.
(13) Conserving and restoring nature is one of the most efficient and cost-effective strategies for fighting climate change.
(14) The implementation of this policy includes promoting voluntary cooperation with private land owners.
(15) To confront the deterioration of natural systems and the loss of biodiversity around the world, and to remain below a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase in average global temperature, scientists recommend that roughly one-half of the planet be conserved.
(16) As a step toward achieving that goal, scientists have recommended that all countries commit to conserving and protecting at least 30 percent of land areas and waters and 30 percent of the ocean in each country by 2030, with a long-term goal of conserving one-half of the planet.
(17) The International Union for Conservation of Nature has established guidance related to access, resource use, and visitation in protected areas, providing that if activities are compatible with a protected area’s objectives, and they are permitted within the terms governing the protected area, the activities may be allowed.
(18) Implementation of a state policy to protect at least 30 percent of California’s land areas and waters within the state and 30 percent of the nation’s oceans by 2030 should be consistent with state housing and economic goals.
(b) With respect to the implementation of this act, it is the intent of the Legislature that the state provide for the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of people of all races, cultures, incomes, and national origins. This includes soliciting, accounting for, and responding to the voices, needs, and priorities of communities of color, indigenous communities, and economically disadvantaged communities.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the implementation of this act honor and uphold the sovereignty of tribal nations and Native American tribes and tribal entities fulfill their own priorities for the protection and stewardship of natural, cultural, and historic resources. Efforts to support and expand land, water, and ocean protections should honor the rights and tribal jurisdiction of Native American tribes and be guided and informed by formal consultation with tribal nations and tribal decisionmaking authority.

SEC. 2.

 Section 9001.6 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

 (a) For purposes of this section, “protect” or “protection” means the establishment of enduring measures on land, water, and oceans that support thriving biodiversity, contribute to climate resilience, and provide ecosystem services, such that their natural character, resources, and functions are conserved, protected, restored, and enhanced for current and future generations.
(b) It is the goal of the state to protect at least 30 percent of California’s land areas and waters and to help advance the protection of 30 percent of the nation’s oceans by 2030, inclusive of existing protections afforded by state and federal laws and regulations.
(c) It is further the goal of the state to support regional, national, and international efforts to protect at least 30 percent of the world’s land areas and waters and 30 percent of the world’s ocean by 2030.
(d) It is further the goal of the state to improve access to nature for all people in the state and to provide for recreational and educational opportunities, including wildlife-dependent recreational activities, as defined in Section 1571 of the Fish and Game Code, with a specific emphasis on increasing access for communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities. Opportunities for improved access include existing and new opportunities.
(e) The state may achieve the goals established in this section through activities that include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
(1) Working with the federal government, local communities, Native American tribes and tribal entities, other countries, willing private landowners, and recreational and commercial stakeholders to conserve natural places and resources.
(2) Improving access to nature for all people in the state, with a specific emphasis on increasing access for communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities.
(3) Preventing extinction by recovering and restoring biodiversity, including species listed under the California Endangered Species Act (Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code).
(4) Enhancing climate resilience by protecting genetic diversity.
(5) Sequestering carbon and greenhouse gas emissions through natural measures in the land, waters, and ocean.
(6) Focusing work at a scale that is biologically and ecologically meaningful, including at a landscape or seascape scale, where appropriate.
(7) Collaborating with federal, tribal, regional, and international governments to support and advance protections for terrestrial and marine habitats that lie outside of the state’s jurisdiction to ensure effective protections for California species that travel, are migratory, or have ranges that extend beyond the borders of the state.
(8) Considering how existing processes to evaluate or strengthen environmental conservation in California can contribute to the goals described in subdivisions (b) and (c) and leveraging those processes to identify, evaluate, and implement measures to meet the goals described in subdivisions (b) and (c).
(9) Stabilizing ecosystems and the services of ecosystems, restoring degraded ecosystems, and maintaining and enhancing ecological functions, including functional ecological connectivity in the face of human impact and climate change.
(10) Aligning the state’s economic and purchasing power with efforts to protect ecosystems and threatened biodiversity within the state, nationally, and internationally.
(11) Ensuring that protected areas within the state are effectively managed and enforced.
(12) Securing protections for habitat types that are underrepresented in protected areas.
(13) Consulting with Native American tribes when conservation efforts impact tribal ancestral homelands to help restore tribal access to those lands and maintain or restore tribal land management, stewardship, and ownership.
(14) Partnering with Native American tribes to learn from and apply traditional ecological knowledge and reintroduce and promote traditional practices to restore ecosystem interconnectivity and balance, including through cooperative management agreements and other related legal instruments.
(f) The Natural Resources Agency shall ensure that actions made in furtherance of this section are conducted in a manner that incorporates the agency’s environmental justice and tribal consultation policies, including subsequent updates to those policies, into relevant program planning, development, and implementation decisions.
(g) This section does not undermine, limit, contravene, or modify any other law or regulation in effect on January 1, 2021.