D029 Commit to the 30x30 Initiative for Biodiversity

Final Status: Concurred as Substituted

Resolved, That this General Convention commend United Nations efforts and those of 190 countries who have made commitments to protect biodiversity and species preservation; and be it further  

Resolved, That General Convention endorse the commitment by the U.S. government to conserve at least 30% each of U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030, as consistent with The Episcopal Church’s commitment to care for creation; and be it further 

Resolved, That General Convention direct the Office of Government Relations to advocate the  implementation of these biodiversity and species preservation efforts in the United States and with multilateral and international partners; and be it further 

Resolved, That in order to support the above commitments and to improve the health and resilience of ecosystems in their communities (“biodiversity”), General Convention urge dioceses, congregations, church camps, schools, and other institutions of The Episcopal Church to collaborate with their local communities, including  congregations in other denominations, faith-based advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, and local and state governments to establish  and implement effective land management practices to enhance and protect biodiversity for their communities and for church lands within these communities; and be it further 

Resolved, That, Convention urge Episcopal Church leaders, as part of their fiduciary duties to care for church property and to protect biodiversity and the health and safety of people using such property, to make decisions about the operation, maintenance, lease, encumbrance, acquisition, or divestiture of church property, after careful consideration of the environmental issues that foreseeably arise in connection with such property, so that they strive to: 

Manage church land and buildings to prioritize 

  1. the use of native plant species in order to help pollinator species thrive, 

  1. where reasonably feasible, onsite collection of stormwater for use onsite in dry weather and to reduce peak stormwater flows offsite during wet weather, 

  1. reduction in the use of irrigation, fertilizer, pesticides, and fossil fuel-fired equipment,  

  1. restoration of degraded areas, including appropriate reforestation efforts, and  

  1. the increase and improvement of wildlife habitat where reasonably feasible and consistent with applicable local law; 

Consider the placement of conservation easements on church lands where lawful, appropriate, and effective in protecting important local ecosystems; 

Address the potential presence in buildings of asbestos-containing material (ACM), lead-based paint (LBP), lead in drinking water, radon, toxic vapor intrusion, and mold, particularly as such conditions may affect children and other vulnerable populations; 

Assess the potential for contamination with hazardous substances and petroleum arising either from current or past use of the property, diligence outlined by federal standards for commercial real estate diligence about such issues found in 40 C.F.R. Part 312; 

Take timely and appropriate action to remedy identified hazards in such property and buildings;

And be it further 

Resolved, That those who implement these practices and policies for protection and promotion of biodiversity and reduction of environmental hazards are asked to report such efforts by submitting them to the Creation Care website  thereby providing usable information and templates for Congregations, Dioceses, Provinces, and the Creation Care ministry of the Episcopal Church.