GEC is proud to sign on to a letter to California Secretary for Natural Resources, Wade Crowfoot, requesting that California participate in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity as an official observer and member of the Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments. This letter, sent by over 30 local, regional, national, and international environmental organizations and leaders, supports a request by California Assemblymember Laura Friedman, who contacted Secretary Crowfoot in January asking him to pursue California’s involvement in the CBD. We are thrilled to offer our support to our Assemblymember, who is an environmental champion and leader, in her call for California to be a global champion for nature.


The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a global treaty from the early 1990s with 196 signatory nations. It’s the only treaty that protects all of nature worldwide, and it aims to link biodiversity protection with healthy climate protection (think, for example, of forest protection). The United States has never joined the Convention.

In spring 2021, there’ll be a conference of the parties to the treaty, when they’ll work on a post-2020 global biological diversity framework. See here and here. We need strong voices in support of environmental and climate-protective policies to take part in these negotiations.

Subnational governments can’t be full negotiating members at the conference, but they can participate as officially designated Observers. No state in the US has signed up to do this, so California would be the first to do so, sending a message to the world that California leads the US in protecting ecosystems, the climate, and human health. Where California leads, other states, cities, and counties will follow.

GEC is proud to be among so many other organizations and leaders and to support Assemblymember Friedman in urging our state to take another step to show true environmental leadership!





Support Letter - CA participating in the Convention on Biological Diversity