The State Department announced on September 30th that Monica Medina, former general counsel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has been appointed as “special envoy for biodiversity and water resources.” She will represent the United States at a mid-December conference “to reverse the loss of species by adopting an international framework for conserving biodiversity.”
The United States will urge other nations to conserve 30 percent of their land and water area, which is the goal set by the Biden administration. The Inflation Reduction Act passed this year designated billions of dollars for funding conservation. And the Biden administration has already reinstated restrictions on fishing off New England and restored protections for deserts in Utah, reversing decisions made by the Trump administration.
“Rising seas flood forests and kill trees. Increasing temperatures allow for the greater spread of disease, such as an avian form of malaria that is wiping out birds in Hawaii. Warming water leach out oxygen, suffocating marine life.” Global warming is accelerating the extinction of many plant and animal species.
The loss of biodiversity is a crisis affecting every community on the planet.
The Iowa City climate crisis plan subsidizes the cost for residents willing to pay half the cost of planting a tree that will add to our community’s biodiversity. Last year Nancy and I purchased one of the “diversity” trees identified by the City, a Shadblow Serviceberry tree (Amelanchier canadensis), which at maturity will look like this photo. We had never heard of this species but are now enjoying its presence in our front yard.
Is your city or county addressing the loss of biodiversity in its climate crisis plan? If you aren’t sure, might your eco-choice be to find out and then see what you and your friends could do to promote biodiversity in your community.
Analysis by Dino Grandoni with research by Vanessa Montalbano, “In a first, U.S. appoints a diplomat for plants and animals,” The Washington Post, Sep 29, 2022,