San Francisco Biodiversity Policy--Commission on the Environment

[San Francisco Biodiversity Policy]

Resolution adopting a policy in support of protecting San Francisco’s biodiversity.
WHEREAS, Despite 160 years of intense urban development, San Francisco retains significant remnants of its natural heritage, including plant and animal species supported by naturally occurring ecosystems, naturalistic landscapes, and urban development; and
WHEREAS, The City’s native habitats are also important to global biodiversity conservation, given that the region is a global biodiversity hotspot recognized by the United Nations as part of the Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve and that San Francisco is located along the Pacific Flyway where twice each year hundreds of species of birds stop to feed and rest during their long flights between the Americas; and
WHEREAS, San Francisco City Charter section 4.118 states, “The Department of the Environment shall regularly produce an assessment of San Francisco's environmental condition. It shall also produce and regularly update plans for the long-term environmental sustainability of San Francisco”; and,
WHEREAS, The Charter also states, “The Commission shall have the authority to review and make recommendations on any policy proposed for adoption by any City agency regarding conformity with the long-term plans for environmental sustainability, except for those regarding building and land use”; and,
WHEREAS, Biodiversity is an indicator of the City’s environmental condition and an essential element of its long-term sustainability; and,
WHEREAS, The major role of the Commission is to set policy for the Department of the Environment; and,
WHEREAS, The Department currently has no staff assigned to implementing biodiversity policies, programs or projects; and,
WHEREAS, The City’s natural heritage erodes every day due to a lack of on-the-ground environmental stewardship; and,
WHEREAS, The Department’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan, in order to address the impacts of climate change on the City’s plant and animal species, will need expert input regarding biodiversity; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That it is the policy of the commission that the City’s biological resources be protected and restored; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the commission requests that the department add biodiversity staffing and programs to its priorities for fundraising, and incorporate nature into its sustainability programs as appropriate and feasible.

I hereby certify that this Resolution was adopted by the Commission on the Environment at its meeting on November 22, 2011.
Monica Fish, Commission Secretary
Vote:     Approved 6-0; 1 Absent 
Ayes:     Commissioners Tuchow, Gravanis, King, Mok, Stephenson, Wald  
Noes:     None        
Absent: Commissioner Prakash