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Next 100 Coalition Leaders Applaud Inclusion of Priorities to Advance Equity & Access in President Biden’s America The Beautiful Initiative

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For Immediate Release: May 06, 2021
Media Contact: Jessica Loya, jessica@next100coalition.org

 

The Next 100 Coalition applauds the Biden Administration’s efforts to advance equity, and access for all communities, as part of its ambitious conservation goal to conserve 30% of the U.S. lands and oceans by 2030, an inclusive and bold vision for safeguarding America’s lands, water, and wildlife as part of the America The Beautiful Initiative.

President Biden’s call for a “whole of government” approach to advancing racial and social justice for communities of colors across the country extends to the work of the Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, NOAA and all other land and ocean management agencies. The principles and areas of focus outlined in the report released today,“Conserving and Restoring America The Beautiful”, are central to advancing equity in access to all the benefits of conservation for communities of color and demonstrate a commitment by these agencies to answer the President’s call for racial justice and social justice. 

Communities of color and other historically marginalized communities are hopeful that this ambitious goal is an opportunity to advance their conservation priorities and an investment into their communities under the Biden Administration to the create of new parks, jobs, and other opportunities that better serve communities of color, urban communities, native and tribal communities and provide equitable access to all the benefits of the outdoors.

Statements by Next 100 Coalition Members:

These actions are a firm and decisive step toward a healthier environment and improved access to our nation’s special places for all communities and for all people. The America The Beautiful Initiative is a powerful opportunity to begin to address the historic inequities that have existed not only in where accessible green spaces are located — but who they are protected for. Community engagement is an integral part to this goal if it is to be successful.We must let them define what we are building for our collective future, from the start, because failure to do this is simply not an option for any of us who wish to see the planet and all of our people thrive in the future.”  Teresa Ana Martinez, Acting Chair, Next100 Coalition Board; Executive Director, Continental Divide Trail Coalition

 

“Today’s report demonstrates that the Biden Administration is committed to taking an intersectional approach to implementing the President’s goals for racial and environmental justice and the protection and conservation of our environment.” said Jessica Loya, Next 100 Coalition Manager. “The report demonstrates a shared belief between the Biden Administration and Equity & Justice Conservation advocates that only by including communities and community-led priorities will we ensure the longevity and success of the ambitious goal to conserve 30% of the U.S. lands and oceans.” 

 

“Greening Youth Foundation applauds President Biden’s America The Beautiful Initiative  focused on conserving 30% of U.S. lands and oceans. We believe this serves as an opportunity to bring forward thousands of good paying jobs to communities and youth all across the nation over the next decade via the Civilian Climate Corps.  It will create economic growth and stability in many communities that have historically been left behind and suffer from environmental racism, disinvestment, and more. This ambitious goal, if rooted in equity and justice, will create opportunities for communities to not only provide for their families, but engage in protecting, restoring, and stewarding their local environments.” – Angelou C. Ezeliou, Founder & CEO, Greening Youth Foundation.

 

“The Biden Administration’s actions in the first 100 days have demonstrated a dedication to following the science on global warming and a willingness to engage with the communities that most feel climate change’s impact. Especially in this pivotal moment, leaders must center the voices of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other communities of color in the framework of 30×30 and other environmental initiatives. Together, we can build a future that demands justice for communities that have been systematically excluded from the enjoyment of places like the Continental Divide Trail, which offers holistic benefits like economic vitality, community connections, public health, and youth education. The climate crisis demands innovation, bold action, and leaders who listen, and CDTC fully believes that the ambitious goal of 30×30 can be achieved by continuing to co-create solutions with leaders and communities whose futures are intrinsically linked to the health of our air, waters, and lands. –Luke Fisher, Trail Policy Manager, Continental Divide Trail Coalition

 

“Nearly three quarters of historically overlooked communities in the U.S. live in nature-deprived areas. The Biden Administration’s bold inclusive vision for the America The Beautiful Initiative  recognizes just how intertwined our open spaces and the environment are with issues centered around justice, race, and equity. This ambitious conservation goal has the potential to reconnect millions of people and youth to the outdoors in their local communities and cultivate the next generation of stewards of our madre tierra. ” – Ángel Peña, Executive Director, Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project

 

“We are facing a climate crisis that requires swift action. Supporting the conservation of 30 percent of land and waters by 2030 is one such bold action. We understand the need to care for not only God’s creation and creatures on land, but God’s creatures in the ocean. By creating a plan for protection of our ocean space, we are caring for this majestic, sacred land that God has entrusted with us. We thank President Biden and his administration for taking action on this issue and supporting 30×30!” – Rev. Rebecca Driscoll, Creation Justice Ministries

 

“We all share a strong moral obligation to be good stewards of our public lands and waters. This 30×30 goal provides an incredible opportunity for our nation to establish equitable access to nature and fill the gaps that Latinos and other communities of color face in the outdoors and in the realm of environmental justice”…“We applaud President Joe Biden and Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland for their leadership in addressing the climate crisis, conserving nature and focusing on more equitable access. Not only will we be protecting far more lands and waters over the next decade, but the United States will be able to guarantee every child in America has the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of nature near their home.” – Maite Arce, President & CEO, Hispanic Access Foundation (Read full statement here.)

 

“The Interior Department’s plan to conserve 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030 is a smart, restorative and collaborative approach to conservation. The 80 organizations in our Friends Grassroots Network comprise the thousands of local residents who steward our public lands day in and day out, and we’re eager to work with the Interior Department and Bureau of Land Management to conserve more of the natural places that are needed to mitigate the climate emergency.” – Brian Sybert, Executive Director, Conservation Lands Foundation

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The Next 100 Coalition is a collaborative national network of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (“BIPOC”) led/community-centered conservation, outdoor recreation, environmental education, public health, environmental justice organizations and dedicated outdoor equity leaders.

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