Momentum is building around the idea of 30 x 30, the goal of protecting 30% of the Earth by 2030. But what qualifies as protected land and water? The session will explore the origins of 30 x 30 as an interim goal in the call for setting aside half of the planet for nature. The panelists, representing a broad geographic diversity in the US, will make the case that rewilding and biodiversity preservation must be at the heart of these initiatives. The session will address the welcome trend of increased attention to climate issues, but point to the need to address the extinction crisis as well. The overall goal is a spirited conversation on how the American land trust movement can advance progress on 30 x 30’s scientific underpinnings through bold action, pressing for both landscape-scale land protection and adequate safeguards to preserve native flora, fauna, and the planet.
As the human and financial cost of climate change continues to rise, governments are setting ambitious targets to stem greenhouse gas emissions. It has become clear that these climate targets cannot be met without the protection, restoration and sustainable use of nature and biodiversity. Grasslands store high levels of carbon in their soils, but a significant fraction is being lost through conversion to cropland or overgrazing. Avoiding the conversion of grassland to cropland can help reduce carbon emissions. The good news is protecting grasslands keeps that carbon in the ground and provides numerous other benefits to native plants, wildlife and water quality. Carbon markets can help finance the protection of grasslands and soil carbon, creating a new source of revenue for landowners engaged in sustainable management and conservation of natural and working lands. For land trusts, the carbon markets can help raise revenue to pay for land acquisition, conservation easements and stewardship.
In 2020, the Land Trust Alliance and The Climate Trust launched a partnership to increase funding available to land trusts for grassland and ranchland conservation easement acquisitions using up-front carbon payments and the development of grassland carbon offset projects. Come learn about why grasslands are so special, how grassland carbon offset project work and how this partnership may be able to help your land trust fund easement or in-fee acquisitions.