The 30×30 Campaign is a global effort to conserve at least 30% of our land and oceans by the year 2030.
Advocating for land and water protections is at the heart of FCVEF’s policy work. Florida is a place unlike any other, with invaluable land and water resources that must be protected. As our population continues to grow, and development stretches outward, it is critical that we prioritize conserving land that will safeguard our state’s valuable natural resources for generations to come.
Working in conjunction with our national partner the League of Conservation Voters, the 30×30 campaign evaluates lands and waters according to their protection status and analyzes how closely the existing management plans mimic natural conditions. We then use this analysis to secure permanent protection for these natural areas and advise on management plans that respect and improve its natural conditions.
Natural areas are vital for human survival. Besides supporting myriad plant and animal species, protected waters and lands provide numerous benefits to people, including clean air and water and helping to stabilize the climate. Famed ecologist E.O. Wilson has demonstrated that we need to protect half of our earth in order to maintain our human population. Currently, only 15% of our land and 7% of our oceans are protected globally. Additional destruction of natural areas will further stress our water resources, deplete our food supplies, and contribute to a warmer and more unstable climate, putting us at greater risk for climate and natural disasters.
Florida and our nation should be leading the charge to protect our natural areas for future generations. Florida’s unique tropical and subtropical systems include numerous habitat types that serve multiple uses and require specialized management.
FCVEF works with the League of Conservation Voters and their state affiliates to increase funding for federal, state, and local conservation programs. Through the 30×30 campaign, we focus our conservation efforts on lands of critical importance that provide ecosystem services that the people of Florida rely on. We work to fill in the gaps, prioritizing access to parks in urban areas and land that provides habitat connectivity across the landscape. We seek to enhance protections on publicly owned land, ensuring that these lands are properly managed with conservation in mind. As we continue our conservation efforts around the state, we believe our focus should not simply be on how much land can be protected, but that the right land is protected.
Additionally, many of Florida’s conservation areas still allow for oil and gas drilling, timber harvesting, or other extraction methods such as fracking. Management to reduce non-native species, like aquatic weeds, may rely on chemical controls, which pollute nearby water bodies and have the potential to infiltrate our drinking water sources. Encroachment by urban development into conservation areas may require naturally-occurring fires to be suppressed, altering the conditions necessary for many native plants to thrive.
Through the 30×30 campaign, FCVEF will work with agencies and partners to explore whether some of these activities could be modified to better mimic natural conditions as well as how to strengthen protections so that our valuable waters and lands are preserved for future generations of people and wildlife. FCVEF will continue to seek ways to reduce oil drilling and extraction for dirty fossil fuels, enhance protections on existing natural areas, and advocate for an overall increase in protection for land and water.