#masthead

Land, Water & Forests

Earth’s ecosystems naturally sequester immense quantities of carbon. When humans disrupt these ecosystems, we often turn them into carbon sources rather than sinks. This section explores the ways in which preservation and restoration make the natural world a vital ally in fighting the climate crisis. Please vote to identify shared goals.

Sub Topics

 Open Space

. Conserve from development at least 30% of the Earth’s surface by 2030, and 50% by 2050, focusing on area-sensitive species, beta-diversity, megafauna and migration routes, corridors and connectivity, old-growth habitats, freshwater and ocean realms.

Documents: D12

. Measure and monitor land use change including land degradation and desertification using new information and communication technologies, climate services, and remotely sensed land and climate information.

Documents: D76

. Maintain at least 85% forest cover in critical areas such as the Amazon.

Documents: D12

. Reinvest in and expand national parks, forests, grasslands, and wildlife preserves to enable natural carbon capture and preserve public lands for future generations.

Documents: D12 D17

. Implement climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience programs on federal land.

Documents: D6

. Mandate accurate and transparent accounting of emissions in the forestry, land‐use, bioenergy and marine sectors.

Documents: D151

. Protect, restore, and connect forests and other habitats, as well as aquatic conduits, to allow corridors for animals and plants to move to more climate suitable habitats.

Documents: D151

 Indigenous Peoples’ Land Management

. Recognize the sovereignty of Indigenous peoples, with rights to free, prior, and informed consent before activities that will affect their territory or environment.

. Ensure full adherence to the "United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples."

Documents: D10 D130

. Restore Indigenous land to Indigenous people

Documents: D50 D66

. Declare, support and finance the management of Indigenous lands that self-identify as "other effective conservation measure areas" (OECM).

Documents: D12

. Accept the decisions of Indigenous communities regarding future green infrastructure projects that impact their lands and inhabitants.

Documents: DB3 D9 D10 D17 D19

. Reestablish traditional fire regimes adapted to the modern climate, enhance ecosystem resilience, and reduce intervening ecological impacts.

Documents: D64

. Expand funding for USDA programs that help tribal governments acquire land and preserve it for future generations.

Documents: D16

 Tropical Forest Restoration

. Require contractors with all state agencies to certify that no products were grown, derived, harvested, reared, or produced on land where tropical deforestation occurred.

Documents: DB109

 Temperate Forest Restoration

. Amend forestry laws to recognize the importance of considering carbon capture, geologic sequestration, and climate change adaptation in management decisions regarding public forests.

Documents: D6 DL58

. Plant billions of trees on national lands, with a cost-share program to support states, tribes, local governments and nonprofits to plant billions more.

Documents: D15 D21 DB51

. Develop national land-use plans, restoration strategies, and incentives to enable large-scale national restoration.

Documents: D31

. Expand publicly owned forests by acquiring and reforesting private lands, focusing on land rendered unproductive by climate change.

Documents: D6

. Increase national monuments and manage federal lands to promote afforestation of permafrost areas.

Documents: D6

. Publicly fund nurseries of native tree species.

Documents: D86

. Incentivize private investment in reforestation and forest restoration.

Documents: D31

. Support community and urban tree planting programs.

Documents: D21 D66

. Restore natural ecosystems through proven low-tech solutions to increase soil carbon storage, such as land preservation and afforestation.

Documents: DB3 D9 D32

. Establish practices and monitoring to assist with natural regeneration and afforestation, such as keeping land safe from fire, livestock grazing and other disturbances.

Documents: D6 D21 D86

. Accelerate innovation and research and development into technological solutions for restoration.

Documents: D31

. Establish public procurement policies that favor sustainably-sourced wood from restored areas.

Documents: D31

. Stop the expansion of new agricultural land at the expense of natural ecosystems, by protecting intact ecosystems, and suspending concessions for logging in protected areas, particularly peatlands and forests.

Documents: DB3 D6 D12 D15 D17 D30 D86

. Conserve, restore, and create better mapping of peatlands.

Documents: D86

. Develop and implement best practices for control of invasive species that threaten wetlands and peatlands.

Documents: D151

 Forest Protection

. Change commercial forest management programs to integrate deep decarbonization objectives.

Documents: D6 D150

. Close "forest frontiers" by strengthening protected areas and ensuring integrated spatial planning, enforcement, and land management.

Documents: D31 D151

. Provide financial incentives for states and local governments to maintain standing forests.

Documents: D31 D151

. Enable community management of forests and natural systems.

Documents: D11

. Require contractors with all state agencies to certify that no products were grown, derived, harvested, reared, or produced on land where tropical deforestation occurred.

Documents: DB109

. Create a national climate-friendly wood product certification system analogous to its system for certifying organic produce.

Documents: D6

. Promote and subsidize sustainable wood products.

Documents: D21

. Mandate transparency in forest commodity supply chains and incentivize zero-deforestation supply chains.

Documents: D31

. Protect watersheds and biodiversity from natural resource conversion related to residential, industrial, and commercial development.

Documents: D6

. Incentivize and track private land easements and voluntary conservation.

Documents: D21 D151

. End public collaboration with and investment in deforestation-risk companies.

Documents: D31

. Assign an economic value to forests.

Documents: D31

. Prohibit conversion of natural forests to plantations for bioenergy.

Documents: D151

 Perennial Biomass

. Support policies favoring perennial bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass, fountain grasses, and silver grass, poplar, willow, eucalyptus and locust, instead of corn ethanol.

Documents: D1

. Require forests cultivated for bioenergy production to meet sustainability criteria related to water pollution, erosion, biodiversity and habitat protection, and reforestation.

Documents: D6

. Protect watersheds in agricultural areas by requiring the use of vegetative buffer zones.

Documents: D6

. Adopt a low-carbon fuel standard for bioenergy with near-zero lifecycle carbon.

Documents: D6

. Condition agricultural subsidies on the implementation of sustainable practices.

Documents: D6

. Expand GHG mitigation programs in the forestry and agricultural sectors.

Documents: D6

 Coastal Wetland Protection

. Increase funding to conservation efforts.

Documents: D21

. Incentivize wetland conservation by expanding easements and tax deductions in relation to conservation efforts.

Documents: D21

. Develop and implement best practices for reducing stormwater runoff contamination of wetlands.

Documents: D151

 Coastal Wetland Restoration

. Re-plant and re-green our coastlines by fully funding the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program, and creating a Climate Conservation Corps.

Documents: D32

. Restore wetlands and create wetland wildlife refuges, using local workers.

Documents: D15 D21 D66

 Oceans

. Protect the ocean commons from privatization.

Documents: D14

. Protect at least 10% of marine areas from fishing by 2020.

Documents: D30

. Ensure local communities have coastal access and infrastructure to fuel the blue economy in fishing, shipping and tourism, and pass the "Keeping America's Working Waterfronts Act."

Documents: D32

. Improve the regulation and prevention of pollution and environmental degradation.

Documents: D14

. Implement precautionary approaches to overfishing.

Documents: D30

. Implement strict regulation on where to locate new fishing operations, antibiotic and chemical use, nutrient runoff, and application of sustainably sourced feed from terrestrial and marine origin.

Documents: D30

. Expand emerging initiatives for regional fisheries management.

Documents: D14

. Expand regenerative ocean farming by including shellfish and seaweed in the Federal Crop Insurance Act.

Documents: D32

. Require transparency in the seafood supply chain.

Documents: D14

. Revise national fish management programs that consolidate fishery ownership and produce negative ecological impacts.

Documents: D14

. Expand regenerative ocean farming by rewarding ocean farmers for carbon and nitrogen sequestration via a "blue carbon fund" administered by NOAA.

Documents: D32

. Remove harmful fishing subsidies.

Documents: D30

. Increase marine protected areas, while maintaining traditional uses of these areas by local communities.

Documents: D151

. Support the proliferation of phytoplankton, submerged aquatic vegetation and kelp forests, and protect coral reefs, to help protect ocean life from acidification.

Documents: D151

 Water Infrastructure

. Upgrade water infrastructure and lead pipes nationally

Documents: D15 D19 D21

. Reduce flooding in cities hard-hit by climate change by building “green infrastructure” that uses natural spaces to better handle stormwater.

Documents: D15

. Focus public finance on resilient water infrastructure for the most vulnerable.

Documents: D15 D31

. Incentivize private investment in infrastructure that is resilient to disaster risks driven by climate change.

Documents: D31

. Mandate assessment of disaster risks for infrastructure projects.

Documents: D31

. Make new roads, walkways, and parking areas permeable to facilitate rainwater reabsorption and reuse.

Documents: D31

. Protect two milion new miles of streams and tributaries, and 20 million acres of wetlands under the 2015 Clean Water Rule.

Documents: D21

. Establish watershed protection plans, working with businesses, utilities, public agencies, and household involvement.

Documents: D31

. Protect low income residents from water price increases by establishing better EPA standards on water affordability.

Documents: D21

. Implement water policies that establish the full value of water and protect the poor as well as ecosystems.

Documents: D31

. Establish guidelines for use of grey water and rain water in residential uses, fixture efficiency, and irrigation strategies.

Documents: DL26 D151

. CLEAN Future Act: Protect underground drinking water sources from enhanced oil recovery.

Documents: DB137

View more topics