The North American Congress for Conservation Biology (NACCB) has released its official policy declaration titled Advance Ecological Connectivity Implementation in the Rocky Mountains and North America. The Center is proud to have supported the drafting of this innovative call to action and now looks forward to promoting its implementation.

The declaration was adopted by participants of the 2020 Congress under the theme “Crossing Boundaries – Innovative Approaches to Conservation” to state the need for strong policy, management, and implementation actions that maintain, enhance, and restore ecological connectivity. The event, which was held virtually this year, is one of the largest gatherings of conservation professionals in North America, bringing together scientists, researchers, Indigenous Peoples, policy makers, practitioners, students, and others interested in issues related to biodiversity, land use, and climate change.

Under the auspices of the Society for Conservation Biology North America (SCBNA)—a non-profit community of conservation practitioners that assists members in bridging the gap between research and practice—the July 2020 gathering was the 5th biennial NACCB. In line with the connectivity theme, the Congress used the opportunity to highlight ongoing ecological connectivity successes and to advance strategies that can lead to more impactful implementation across North America.

Main messages of the policy declaration include:

  • Advocating application of the new IUCN ‘Guidelines for Conserving Connectivity through Ecological Networks and Corridors’ to promote coherent approaches for identifying and conserving ecological connectivity;
  • Calling for action at all levels of governance to invest in and implement approaches for protecting ecological corridors and integrating climate resiliency and adaptation policies; and
  • Encouraging action by SCBNA members, conservation practitioners, and interested citizens to engage across communities to share knowledge, coordinate action, and increase focus on ecological connectivity solutions.

Specific sections of the declaration illustrate the need for ecological connectivity, provide examples of pioneering and ongoing initiatives, highlight recent laws and policies that have been adopted, indicate international actions that require national implementation, and provide recommendations for specific actions that can be taken.

An Executive Summary has also been released.