The Georgia Conservancy will host the inaugural Georgia Conservation Summit on November 10, 2016 in Macon, Georgia, bringing together the state’s conservation leaders to engage in a daylong dialogue on priority issues surrounding Georgia’s natural and built environment, with a focus on Gopher Tortoise habitat conservation and the Savannah River Clean Water Fund.
From the Cumberland Plateau in the northwest to the barrier islands on our Atlantic Coast, Georgia’s varied landscape has created one of the nation’s most biodiverse states. The key to maintaining such biodiversity is found in the strategic and collaborative conservation of both our private and public lands, as well as the concentrated planning for our cities and towns. Many organizations that are currently involved in efforts to conserve our state’s land and water, from non-governmental organizations (environmental non-profits, land trusts, planning organizations, etc.) to state and federal agencies, to large institutional land owners (REITs, timber product companies, EMCs, etc.), will have the opportunity to convene at the Georgia Conservation Summit to better understand Georgia’s conservation challenges and to develop solutions and strategies that will prioritize future conservation efforts. Georgia’s State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) will guide much the discussions.
The Georgia Conservation Summit will include presentations by Georgia conservation professionals, in addition to panel discussions and workshops focusing on conservation challenges and solutions.
Topics will include:
Existing state and federal programs that incentivize conservation activities
The endangered species list and the case for proactive habitat conservation
Establishing dedicated funding for conservation in Georgia
Symbiotic relationship of conservation and outdoor recreation
The role of corporations in conserving our land and water
The role of private conservation in Georgia
Highlighting the land conservation priorities as identified by the Georgia SWAP
Participants will leave with an understanding of the current state of conservation in Georgia and of the roles that various organizations and groups play in conservation. Most importantly, we believe that the summit will facilitate the collaborative relationships necessary to:
Maintain, improve and expand existing conservation laws;
Establish an integrated statewide water quality monitoring network
Forward a sustainable source of dedicated state funding for land conservation
Protect 15% of Georgia’s priority precious places by 2024
Place into permanent conservation or restoration an additional 500,000 acres of Georgia public and private lands by 2024
Develop a 100 Year Conservation Plan for Georgia
Encourage low-impact design guidelines and green infrastructure projects in at least 30 Georgia communities