Businesses for Conservation and Climate Action
(BCCA)

Overview

Our vision

Increasing climate-driven pressures and extreme events, new and continued efforts to industrialize lands and waters, and struggling resource-dependent communities demand that the U.S. set a new course for ocean and land conservation governance and climate action. The challenges are complex and urgent; the solutions must be innovative, comprehensive, and locally-driven, with Indigenous leadership at the forefront. We must act now and we must act together, which is why we are building Businesses for Conservation and Climate Action (BCCA).

Developing creative policy approaches to secure a positive climate future for all is a generational mission for businesses and the environment alike. New global conservation initiatives, like the 30×30 campaign, often begin with scientists and NGOs and sometimes fail to embrace the power that cooperating with business interests can bring. But enacting sweeping sustainability policies does not have to be a zero-sum game for small and medium businesses. Visionary new policies and environmental wins can be developed and achieved if they are championed with strong representation and well constructed messaging delivered to the right audiences at the right time. Our proposed Business Alliance is the ideal, diverse voice to meet this moment.

We believe that we must integrate, not separate. Our Alliance is formed around the collective vision that solutions between humans and nature are rooted in rediscovering our place within the global environment and having the humility and ambition to embrace this role. Our mission is to establish national policies that recognize sustainable small businesses as compatible with healthy lands and oceans, and to enhance rather than exclude these sustainable businesses from conversations about resource access at every step of the decision-making process. Our work will be guided by a firm commitment to social equity, local and traditional wisdom, and triple bottom line solutions that restore social, ecological and economic health.

Founding Partners:
American Sustainable Business Council, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, Aleut Community of St Paul Island Tribal Government, Afognak Native Corporation, Local First Arizona, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, North Carolina Business Council, NY Sustainable Business Council, New Jersey Sustainable Business Council, P3 Utah, Rosebud Sioux Economic Development Corporation, Salmon State, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.   

Indigenous leadership at the core

Our Community-led, community-supportive conservation initiatives will integrate Indigenous leadership as central to the structure, vision, and mission of policymaking. Indigenous leaders of federally recognized tribes are among the inaugural members of our steering committee, and our senior staff will also include a tribal member representative of a federally recognized tribe coordinating Indigenous engagement. Our policy goals, process for engagement on conservation and climate, and implementation strategies will be rooted in Indigenous worldview and led by Indigenous leaders and businesses. Fiscal support for rural and Indigenous participation are core fundraising goals for our Alliance.

Opportunities for social, economic, and ecological impact

Climate change calls for a new approach to conservation that simultaneously enhances community and ecosystem resilience. Static and regulatorily isolated protected areas are poorly suited to the reality of a rapidly changing climate. Oceans are fed by rivers and estuaries; rivers and estuaries are fed by streams, rain, snowpack, runoff, and groundwater. Land and ocean ecosystems are connected. Truly effective climate actions must necessarily be ecosystem-based, transcend jurisdictional silos, and support regional economies through sustainable, stewardship focused relationships that actively incorporate community-based small businesses.

President Biden’s Executive Order 14008 initiated a multi-year process to conserve biodiversity and habitats, address climate change, and enhance the resilience of our natural resources to changing conditions. Our Alliance is well-positioned to develop and advocate for federal policies that achieve meaningful conservation wins while ensuring that sustainable businesses and communities thrive. Strong conservation-focused businesses reinforce strong conservation policies, and when these businesses meaningfully participate in conservation policy development, they will advocate for these policies and shepherd them along the path to implementation.

Our Alliance also serves as a hub for meaningful dialog and innovative cross-sector problem solving. While environmental NGOs have to date led the conversation on 30×30 in the US, it is time for a new representative group to assume the mantle of leadership in this space. BCCA is well positioned to broker conversations between businesses, conservation groups, and policymakers. We will adopt convening and advocacy roles to produce policy platforms for ocean, freshwater, and land use conservation and climate initiatives, develop and circulate informational material informed by our members, and deliver vetted solutions to decision-makers. The results will be a uniquely empowered community of conservation-focused tribal, business, and environmental voices united in support of new approaches to governance that secure lasting positive change.

Our Initial Focus

The time is now to unite like-minded businesses and groups in order to gather strength and identify common issues and priorities. The BCCA has identified a number of emergent engagement opportunities where broad coalitions of local stakeholders have defined triple bottom line solutions. These opportunities are ripe for action and will provide a blueprint for bottom-up approaches to achieving 30×30 conservation objectives. In each area, management strategies supported by locally-based coalitions balance conservation, environmental justice and local economies, but have been stymied by political barriers. Our team is also well-positioned to advance conservation and climate initiatives with strategically important decision makers including in Alaska and with its congressional delegation, the West Coast, and the Northeast. Our strategic work in these important and unique geographies will define and enable nationally coordinated, regionally and locally implemented conservation solutions that are durable and community-supported.

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