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AB-564 Biodiversity Protection and Restoration Act.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/11/2021 09:00 PM
AB564:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 564


Introduced by Assembly Members Lorena Gonzalez and Kalra

February 11, 2021


An act to add Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 2950) to Division 3 of Fish and Game Code, relating to biodiversity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 564, as introduced, Lorena Gonzalez. Biodiversity Protection and Restoration Act.
Existing law provides that it is the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s mission to manage California’s diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment of the public. Existing law provides that one of the department’s core programs is biodiversity conservation.
This bill would establish the Biodiversity Protection and Restoration Act and would provide that it is the policy of the state that all state agencies, boards, and commissions shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the biodiversity conservation purposes and goals of certain executive orders. The bill would require all state agencies, boards, and commissions to consider and prioritize the protection of biodiversity in carrying out their statutory mandates. The bill would require strategies related to the goal of the state to conserve at least 30% of California’s land and coastal waters by 2030 to be made available to the public and provided to certain legislative committees by no later than June 30, 2022.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The world is in the midst of an extinction crisis. In 2019, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services warned that a million species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. Similarly, in a December 2020 global assessment, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature found that over a quarter of evaluated species of plants and animals around the globe are threatened with extinction.
(2) In light of the global extinction crisis, and with the goal of protecting California’s unique and threatened biodiversity, on September 7, 2018, former Governor Edmund G. Brown issued Executive Order B-54-18, which launched the California Biodiversity Initiative. This order directed the Secretary of Food and Agriculture and the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to implement the initiative and to “promote deeper understanding of current and future threats to California’s biodiversity; protect native vegetation; manage and restore natural and working lands and waterways; and explore appropriate financing options to achieve these goals.” The order directed all state agencies to work together to achieve these goals.
(3) On October 7, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-82-20. This order established the California Biodiversity Collaborative to protect and restore the state’s biodiversity. The California Biodiversity Collaborative, in consultation and with the support of state agencies, is tasked with, inter alia, establishing a baseline assessment of California’s biodiversity, assessing the impacts of climate change and other stressors on the state’s biodiversity, and identifying and advancing opportunities for collaborative efforts to protect biodiversity.
(4) Executive Order N-82-20 also established that “to support the global effort to combat the biodiversity and climate crises, it is the goal of the State to conserve at least 30 percent of California’s land and coastal waters by 2030.” That order tasked the Natural Resources Agency and other relevant state agencies to develop strategies to achieve this goal and report them to the Governor by no later than February 1, 2022.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in adopting this act to ensure that, consistent with Executive Orders B-54-18 and N-82-20, state agencies, boards, and commissions consider and prioritize the protection of biodiversity in carrying out their mandates.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 2950) is added to Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code, to read:
CHAPTER  14. Biodiversity Protection and Restoration Act

2950.
 (a) It is the policy of this state that all state agencies, boards, and commissions shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the biodiversity conservation purposes and goals of Executive Orders B-54-18 and N-82-20. In carrying out this policy, all state agencies, boards, and commissions shall consider and prioritize the protection of biodiversity in carrying out their statutory mandates.
(b) The strategies required by Section 2 of Executive Order N-82-20 related to the goal of the state to conserve at least 30 percent of California’s land and coastal waters by 2030 shall be made available to the public and provided to the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife and the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water by no later than June 30, 2022.
(c) It is the policy of this state that public agencies shall not approve projects as proposed that are inconsistent with or would impair the successful implementation of the strategies required by subdivision (b).