Creating a Transparent Methodology for Measuring Success Within a Continuum of Conservation for the America the Beautiful Initiative

Creating a Transparent Methodology for Measuring Success Within a Continuum of Conservation for the America the Beautiful Initiative, 14 Geo. Wash. J. Energy & Envtl. L.107 (2023)

University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 529

20 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2022 Last revised: 6 Oct 2023

Date Written: November 14, 2022

Abstract

On January 27, 2021, the Biden Administration identified the national goal of conserving at least 30% of our lands and waters by 2030. With this order, the America the Beautiful Initiative (ATB Initiative) was born, and the United States joined many other nations in adopting the 30 x 30 conservation target. However, beneath the lofty aspiration lay ambiguity. The Administration has not defined the term “conservation,” or explained how it will be measured. Without a clear definition or metric for measuring the outcome of conservation projects, the ATB Initiative will lose credibility. The Biden Administration should avoid this result by adopting Conservation Report Cards. This approach enables recognition of the full “continuum of conservation,” without suggesting that each project has the same ecological benefit. A similar reporting methodology is already available and being utilized in the voluntary carbon credit market, which includes a wide range of conservation projects with varying degrees of conservation efficacy. This approach would preserve the credibility of the ATB Initiative and facilitate future conservation efforts by transparently disclosing the goals, management protocols, outcomes, and durability of projects included within the ATB Initiative.

Keywords: ATB, America the Beautiful, America the Beautiful Initiative, ATB Initiative, Conservation, Continuum of Conservation, 30 x 30, thirty by thirty, convention on biological diversity

Suggested Citation

Pleune, Jamie, Creating a Transparent Methodology for Measuring Success Within a Continuum of Conservation for the America the Beautiful Initiative (November 14, 2022). Creating a Transparent Methodology for Measuring Success Within a Continuum of Conservation for the America the Beautiful Initiative, 14 Geo. Wash. J. Energy & Envtl. L.107 (2023), University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 529, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4276939 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4276939

Jamie Pleune (Contact Author)

S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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