Biodiversity and Climate Change Assessment: FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the USGS-led Biodiversity and Climate Change Assessment.
1. What is an assessment report?
An assessment report is comprehensive, critical evaluation undertaken by independent experts and knowledge holders regarding the state of scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge on, in this case, biodiversity and climate change, its trends and impacts and future risks, and options for actions to combat the two challenges. This assessment report is being undertaken to provide decisionmakers (of all scales) to have the latest evidence to inform their decision-making processes.
An assessment report is an iterative process that allows external engagement and public review to ensure legitimacy, relevancy and credibility.
2. How do I get involved?
You can get involved in various ways:
- You can be a Guidance Committee member, to nominate yourself or another expert, visit the nomination site here,
- You can be an author to the assessment, to nominate yourself or another expert, visit the nomination site here,
- You can be a reviewer – right now, the draft prospectus is out for review but in the future, you can be a reviewer to the assessment report chapters or its resulting summary for policymakers,
- You can attend any of our external engagement events and/or
- You can amplify our project via tweets and posts on our social media platforms.
3. Who is this assessment intended for?
The primary audience for the assessment report will include decision-makers, policymakers, and resource managers in the US, but the report will be deliberately designed to be relevant and useful for decision-makers in Canada and Mexico.
4. What is the difference between this North American Biodiversity and Climate Change Assessment Report and the National Nature Assessment? And how will they work together?
The US Geological Survey (USGS), the nation’s largest water, earth, and biological science agency, was charged by the US Congress in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget with conducting an assessment that characterizes the state of understanding concerning linkages between climate change and biodiversity for the United States.
The scope of the Biodiversity and Climate Change Assessment Report will be focused on these two challenges and how they are interconnected. As well as supporting decision-makers apply these drivers in their work. Climate change is among the primary drivers of biodiversity loss, and well-managed biodiversity conservation can contribute to climate-change mitigation and adaptation. Understanding the interplay between climate change and biodiversity is critical for the implementation of effective and lasting solutions to climate change and for maintaining biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people.
The National Nature Assessment was called for under Executive Order 14072 (Strengthening the Nation’s Forests, Communities, and Local Economies) in April of this year (2023).
The United States Global Change Research Program is undertaking the National Nature Assessment, which will take stock of U.S. lands, waters, wildlife and the benefits they provide to our economy, health, climate, environmental justice, and national security. The Assessment will also look ahead at how nature might change in the future, and what those changes may mean for our economy and our lives. The scope of the National Nature Assessment is larger than that of the Biodiversity and Climate Change Assessment.
The Biodiversity and Climate Change Assessment Report will be a technical contribution to the National Nature Assessment (NNA).
Find out more about the National Nature Assessment here.
5. What is the difference between this North American Biodiversity and Climate Change Assessment Report and the America the Beautiful Initiative? And how will they work together?
Under Executive Order 14008 (Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad), the Department of the Interior has partnered with agencies across the federal government to advance an inclusive and collaborative conservation vision. The current administration has launched the America the Beautiful Initiative, a decade-long challenge to pursue a locally led and voluntary, nationwide effort to conserve, connect, and restore the lands, waters, and wildlife upon which we all depend.
In the US, the Assessment will align with products from the America the Beautiful Initiative, which supports stewardship of US lands and waters.
Find out more about the America the Beautiful Initiative here.