The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Mayor of Boise, Idaho, and National Geographic explorer in residence on land and ocean conservation

Lauren McLean and Enric Sala join Washington Post Live on Wednesday, Jan. 18. (Video: The Washington Post)

Nearly 200 countries, including the United States, have pledged to protect at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and oceans by the end of the decade, a move scientists believe is essential to tackle climate change. Mayor Lauren McLean (D) of Boise, Idaho, and Enric Sala, National Geographic explorer in residence and National Geographic Pristine Seas founder, join Washington Post Live for a conversation about global efforts to protect the world’s lands and oceans as part of our ongoing series, “This is Climate.”

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“We played a little bit with the idea of 30 by 30 and we said, we are going to double our tree canopy in the city of Boise, which will be a 30 percent coverage with trees … We know that we can’t do this without our residents, so we are increasing, by 30 percent, our volunteer activities and opportunities for our residents to engage with us in protecting the people and places that we love.” - Boise, ID, Mayor Lauren McLean (D) (Video: Washington Post Live)
“This really forms the foundation from which we believe our economy will be resilient and our residents in the future will have opportunity. Citywide, our goals are to be carbon neutral by 2050. Our municipal goals are to be carbon neutral by 2035. So, we’re taking those steps as a city government, we’re learning from them and then we’ll figure out how best to do it citywide.” - Boise, ID, Mayor Lauren McLean (D) (Video: Washington Post Live)
“Everything we need to survive depends on the work of other species, including the species in the ocean … Most of the oxygen that is produced in the ocean is produced by a microbe so small that we didn’t know about its existence until 30 years ago. Something that we completely ignore is absolutely vital for the survival of humans and every other creature the breathes oxygen. The ocean also regulates our climate … We need the ocean to do all these things for us, for free so earth could be a place that’s as wonderful to live in as it is now.” - Enric Sala (Video: Washington Post Live)
“If we want nature to help us prevent climate catastrophe, while of course, we reduce our carbon emissions we need half of the planet in a natural state. That will also help prevent the extinction of what’s projected to be a million species going extinct this century … It is thanks to this complexity of life that we have a stable planet. The planet is destabilizing because of those combined crises of nature loss and global warming … The implementation is going to come at the country level because it is every country that is going to decide how much of their lands and waters to protect … We have to dispel the myth that we cannot protect more of the planet … We know, from hundreds of examples around the world, that if we protect the right 30 percent of the ocean, that 30 percent is going to produce spillover fish that is going to help replenish the fisheries. This is not just a question of biodiversity; this is a question of food security and the security of human civilization as we know it.” - Enric Sala (Video: Washington Post Live)
“We are depleting ocean life. We are diminishing the ability of the ocean to provide for us all the essential things we need to survive. But we have a chance, we can give the ocean space and time, and the ocean more than the land, has this extraordinary ability to bounce back." - Enric Sala (Video: Washington Post Live)

Boise, Idaho, Mayor Lauren McLean (D)

Enric Sala

Founder, National Geographic Pristine Seas & Explorer in Residence, National Geographic

Content from Esri

The following content is produced and paid for by a Washington Post Live event sponsor. The Washington Post newsroom is not involved in the production of this content.

(Video: Washington Post Live)

Mapping the Future of Conservation and Growth

In a segment presented by Esri, President and Founder Jack Dangermond addresses conservation, the 30x30 initiative to protect 30 percent of critical land and waters by 2030, and how geospatial technology can help identify areas with the greatest need, empowering stakeholders to accelerate action and ensure sustainable impacts. Dangermond discusses how approaching these global issues requires a deep understanding of the relationship of environmental and human-made systems.

Jack Dangermond

President & Founder, Esri