Protecting Biodiversity

Protecting biodiversity to ensure our communities and ecosystems are resilient to climate change.


 California is home to more species of plants and animals than any other state, and this biodiversity – the variety and variability of life – accounts for about one third of all species found in the nation. Of the estimated 5,500 plant species found in California, 40 percent are found nowhere else on Earth! Our varied geography (i.e. highest and lowest points in the US) and proximity to the ocean and mountains are the foundation for this globally exceptional richness. But this biodiversity is increasingly at risk making us a global “biodiversity hotspot” – one of 36 places on Earth with exceptional concentrations of native species that are experiencing unprecedented challenges.

 Conserving biodiversity in a state as large and complex as California requires the collective progress, creativity, and wisdom of all of us. The California Natural Resources Agency is spearheading the state’s 30x30 initiative, part of a global commitment to conserve 30 percent of our lands and coastal waters by 2030.  Our Pathways to 30x30 strategy establishes an inclusive, voluntary approach to protect biodiversity, increase access to nature for all and address climate change through conservation of nature. Join our 30x30 Partnership and be part of the movement!

 Watch our Secretary Speaker Series event about California's natural diversity and strategies to protect and expand our unique community of plants and animals.

The California Biodiversity Council has been facilitating interagency cooperation on biodiversity protection since 1991. Learn more about them here.

California Biodiversity Initative

In 2017, a group of 26 scientific experts from across the state’s universities, herbaria, and conservation organizations created the “Charter to Secure the Future of California’s Native Biodiversity," a call to action to secure and recover the abundance and richness of native plants and animals in California, under current and changing climate conditions.  Governor Brown responded by launching the California Biodiversity Initiative in 2018. The goal of the Biodiversity Initiative is to secure the future of California’s biodiversity by integrating biodiversity protection into the state’s environmental and economic goals and efforts.

Site Logo for the California Biodiversity CouncilThe California Biodiversity Council (CBC) was formed in 1991 to improve coordination and cooperation between the various resource management and environmental protection organizations at federal, state, and local levels. Strengthening ties between local communities and governments has been a focus of the Council by way of promoting strong local leadership and encouraging comprehensive solutions to regional issues.