Urging the New York State Congressional delegation to establish a biodiversity strategy for protecting biodiversity for current and ...

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Senate Resolution No. 2820

BY: Senator MAY

URGING the New York State Congressional delegation
to establish a biodiversity strategy for protecting
biodiversity for current and future generations

WHEREAS, Biodiversity, or biological diversity, is a measure of the
variation of genetics and species in a particular habitat or ecosystem;
it commonly refers to the overall variety of life in an area; this
variety of life includes animals, plants, fungi and even microorganisma
that make up our natural world; each of these work together in
ecosystems to maintain balance and to support life; and

WHEREAS, Currently, the planet is facing an unprecedented
biodiversity crisis, largely driven by human activity; recent scientific
studies have confirmed human-driven activities are significantly
damaging the Earth's ecosystems by: altering 75 percent of the area of
terrestrial environments and 66 percent of marine environments; directly
exploiting wildlife and plant species; accelerating climate change,
directly harming nature and exacerbating other threats; polluting air,
land, and water; and introducing invasive species; and

WHEREAS, These studies have shown that human-driven threats have
harmed biodiversity by: threatening approximately one million species
with extinction now and in the coming decades, including over 40 percent
of amphibians; 33 percent of corals, sharks, shark relatives, and marine
mammals; over 60 percent of cycads and over 30 percent of conifer trees;
and about 10 percent of over 5 million insect species; and

WHEREAS, In addition, human-driven threats have harmed biodiversity
by causing population sizes of wild species to decline by: an average of
68 percent for mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles; nearly 3
billion birds in North America since 1970; about 50 percent for live
corals; and an average of over 20 percent overall; and

WHEREAS, Human activity is accelerating the decline of important
economic and cultural services, with: the productivity of nearly
one-fourth of the land surface reduced; over one-third of land surface
and 75 percent of freshwater resources devoted to crop or livestock
production; about half a trillion dollars of global crops at risk from
pollinator loss; one-third of marine fisheries overfished, 60 percent
fished at capacity, and just 7 percent fished below capacity; and 25
percent of greenhouse gas emissions caused by land clearing, crops, and
fertilization; and

WHEREAS, The decline of biodiversity disproportionately impacts
indigenous and other communities that rely on nature for essential
services, including Native Americans and Alaska Natives who offer unique
perspectives and traditional ecological knowledge critical to preserving
biodiversity; and

WHEREAS, Furthermore, the decline of biodiversity and ecosystem
services observed worldwide is occurring in the United States; and

WHEREAS, The State of New York possesses an abundance and great
diversity of species of fish, wildlife, and plants that are of
significant value for many intrinsic, aesthetic, ecological,
educational, cultural, recreational, economic, and scientific reasons;

WHEREAS, The decline of biodiversity also presents a direct threat
to the security, health, and well-being of the people of New York by
causing economic harm through the loss of valuable ecosystem services
such as: zoonotic disease buffering, pollination, water filtration,
soil replenishment, the provision of game species, medicinal products,
recreational opportunities, and others; and

WHEREAS, Federal agencies are tasked with protecting and conserving
biodiversity in the United States and worldwide through a variety of
legal and policy channels; and

WHEREAS, There is no coordinating policy to maximize the
effectiveness of the Federal Government's conservation efforts and
collaboration with the States, local governments, Tribes, private
landowners, and other nongovernmental stakeholders; and

WHEREAS, The State of New York should play a leading role in
addressing the biodiversity crisis; and

WHEREAS, Scientific research highlights essential pathways forward,
including: establishing the effective conservation, restoration, and
durable protection of an ecologically representative area of the State
of New York and its lands, freshwaters, and oceans by 2030 by working
collaboratively with governments, land owners, fishers, indigenous
peoples, communities, and others; restoring or rewilding species,
degraded habitats, and ensuring integrity and connectivity of protected
areas; retaining and protecting highly intact ecosystems; reducing
pesticide use to levels no higher than needed for sustainable,
ecologically, and safe food production; and addressing the threats posed
by invasive species; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
urge the New York State Congressional delegation to establish a
biodiversity strategy for protecting biodiversity for current and future
generations; and be it further

RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the President of the Senate of the United States, the
Speaker of the House of Representatives, and to each member of the
Congress of the United States from the State of New York.


  • 27 / May / 2022

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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