Expanding Nature-Based Solutions

Accelerating nature-based solutions to achieve California’s climate change goals

Our lands are a critical yet underutilized sector in California’s urgent effort to build a resilient, equitable, and carbon neutral future. Healthy landscapes can sequester and store carbon, limit future greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, protect people and nature from the impacts of climate change, and build resilience to future impacts of climate change. Unhealthy landscapes have the opposite effect – they release more greenhouse gases than they store, worsen climate risks to people and nature, and are more vulnerable to future climate change impacts.

In October 2020, Governor Newsom outlined a comprehensive and results-oriented agenda to expand nature-based solutions across California through Executive Order N-82-20. It called for restoring nature and landscape health to deliver on our climate change goals and other critical priorities, including improving public health and safety, securing our food and water supplies, and achieving greater equity across California.

ASSEMBLY BILL 1757 IMPLEMENTATION

NEW - 2025 UPDATE TO CALIFORNIA’S NATURAL AND WORKING LANDS CLIMATE SMART STRATEGY

Assembly Bill 1757 (signed by the Governor September 2022) calls on the Natural Resources Agency to update the Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy, in collaboration with the California Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The Natural Resources Agency will be soliciting public input to inform the updated strategy over the coming months through a series of public workshops and tribal roundtables.

On February 1st, we kicked off public engagement on the update. In this webinar, we provided key background, outlined our approach, and answered participants’ questions on the work ahead. You can find a recording of the kick-off webinar here.

After this kick-off webinar, we will host virtual workshops organized around California’s eight natural and working landscapes. Our goal is to gather input on how the strategy can best drive climate smart land management to deliver on California’s climate goals – achieving carbon neutrality and building resilience to climate impacts. We recommend participants briefly peruse the existing priority nature-based climate solutions and the cross-cutting priorities prior to joining, which can be found here.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Are there changes you’d recommend we make to the existing priority nature-based climate solutions for each landscape?
  2. Are there changes you’d recommend we make to the existing cross-cutting priorities?
  3. What are the biggest barriers to implementing these nature-based climate solutions?
  4. What solutions exist to overcome these barriers, and how can state government most usefully advance them?

Landscape-Specific Workshops will be held from 12-1pm on the following dates:

In addition to these workshops, we welcome written feedback. Please feel free to send your input to naturebasedsolutions@resources.ca.gov by Tuesday, February 27

    Nature-Based Climate Solutions Targets

    AB 1757 also requires the California Natural Resources Agency to determine an ambitious range of targets for nature-based climate solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions to support state goals to achieve carbon neutrality and foster climate adaptation and resilience, in collaboration with the California Air Resources Board, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the expert advisory committee described below. Stay tuned, these targets will be released very soon!

    Please find more information directly below about the AB 1757 Natural and Working Lands Expert Advisory Committee, and their 2023 meetings, which is helping to also shape the development of the NWL targets most immediately and support the continued implementation of AB 1757 through 2024.

    This Natural and Working Lands Expert Advisory Committee will support the implementation of AB 1757. AB 1757 directs the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Air Resources Board to establish an expert advisory committee to inform and review modeling and analyses for natural and working lands, to advise state agencies on implementation strategies and standardized accounting, and to provide recommendations on addressing barriers to efficient implementation of climate action in natural and working lands.

    • Learn more about our committee members here.
    • Frequently asked questions about this committee can be found here.
    • You can access the final recommendations from the committee on NWL targets (November 2023) at this link.

    Upcoming Meetings

    Future meeting schedule will be shared soon.

    Materials from the January 23 Expert Advisory Committee

    • Agenda from the January 23 meeting is here
    • Recording from the January 23 meeting is here

    Materials from the November 13 Expert Advisory Committee

    • Agenda from the November 13 meeting is here
    • Recording from the November 13 meeting is here

    Materials from the October 12 Expert Advisory Committee

    • Agenda from the October 12 meeting is here
    • Recording from the October 12 meeting is here

    Materials from the August 22 Expert Advisory Committee

    • Agenda from the August 22 meeting is here
    • Recording from the August 22 meeting is here

    Materials from the July 18 Expert Advisory Committee

    • Agenda from the July 18 meeting is here
    • Recording from the July 18 meeting is here

    Materials from the May 22 Expert Advisory Committee

    • Agenda from the May 22 meeting is here
    • Recording from the May 22 meeting is here

    Materials from the April 25 Expert Advisory Committee

    • Agenda from the April 25 meeting is here
    • The recap of the April 25 meeting can be found here.

    Materials from the March 28 Expert Advisory Committee

    • Agenda of the March 28 meeting is here.
    • Recording from the March 28 meeting is here.

    Materials from the Feb 10 Expert Advisory Committee

    • Agenda of the Feb 10 Expert Advisory Committee is here.
    • Recording from the Feb 10 meeting is here.
    • PowerPoint presentations can be accessed here and here.
    On December 2, 2022, the California Natural Resources Agency held its first annual Natural and Working Lands - Progress and Priorities listening session to inform the state’s update on implementation of the Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy. Participants provided reflections on progress made in 2022 and priorities for climate action in the natural and working lands sector in 2023. Following the listening session, state representatives from CNRA, CDFA, and CARB solicited feedback on near-term next steps for AB 1757 implementation.

    The Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy will drive implementation of the Governor’s Executive Order and expanded climate action in this sector, which has been called for in California’s Climate Change Scoping Plan and California’s recently updated Climate Adaptation Strategy.

    California’s first Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy was released on April 22, 2022.

    Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy (full size 25 MB)

    Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy (reduced size 10 MB)

    Estrategia Climáticamente Inteligente De Tierras Naturales Y De Trabajo (en Español)

    Appendices

    1. Opportunity Menu – A Collection of Recommendations to Scale Nature-Based Climate Solutions
    2. Natural and Working Landscapes – Classification and Definitions
    3. Summary of Public Engagement
    4. Endnotes
    5. Comprehensive List of Existing State Efforts
    6. Land Cover Data Methodology

    The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) is required by Senate Bill 27 (Skinner, 2021) to create a Carbon Sequestration and Climate Resiliency Project Registry. The Registry is intended to facilitate funding of nature-based and direct air capture projects that deliver on California’s climate goals.

    Please visit this page for answered Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) related to SB 27 and the Carbon Sequestration and Climate Resiliency Project Registry.

    NEW: On June 30, 2023, CNRA launched a beta version of the SB 27 California Carbon Sequestration and Climate Resiliency Project Registry for user testing and feedback. The beta site can be accessed at the following link: https://climateprojectregistry.resources.ca.gov/. CNRA is requesting feedback regarding user interface and experience be sent to naturebasedsolutions@resources.ca.gov by COB, Friday, August 18th to be considered in the final Registry design. Please note that this a beta version of the Registry and projects cannot currently be listed or backed at this time. The projects currently listed on the Registry are for demonstration purposes only and are to allow users to see how projects could be displayed, searched, and evaluated for backing.

    CNRA released a pre-rulemaking document, a Concept Discussion Draft regarding SB 27 implementation on March 29, 2023. This document was open for public comment until May 30, 2023.  The Concept Discussion Draft contains two appendices, Appendix A: Draft Regulationand Appendix B: Illustrative Eligible Projects.

    Language services may be provided upon request. To ensure availability of these services, please make sure your request is submitted at least 15 business days prior to the comment period deadline by contacting outreach@resources.ca.gov.

    CNRA hosted a virtual public workshop on the Concept Discussion Draft on May 9, 2023. In this workshop, CNRA staff provided an overview of SB 27, walked through the Concept Discussion Draft, and facilitated discussion among workshop participants. A recording of this workshop can be found here.

    In early September 2022, CNRA held two public workshops to gather feedback on the development of the project registry. Please see the following recording of the workshop plenary for more information.