Cynthia Kallio Edwards, Wildlife Management Institute Summit Description:
The dramatic changes sweeping the Southeastern United States — such as urbanization, competition for water resources, extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and climate change — pose unprecedented challenges for sustaining our natural and cultural resources. But they also offer a clear opportunity to unite the conservation community around a shared, long-term vision for the future. The Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS) is that vision. Through SECAS, diverse partners are working together to design and achieve a connected network of landscapes and seascapes that supports thriving fish and wildlife populations and improved quality of life for people across the southeast. Together, federal, state, non-profit and private organizations are coordinating their conservation actions and investments to focus on common goals.
SECAS was initiated by states of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) and the federal Southeast Natural Resource Leaders Group (SENRLG) with support from Southeast and Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, and the Southeast Climate Science Center. The purpose of the SECAS Leadership Summit is to communicate the SECAS vision among SEAFWA directors and staff, SENRLG leadership and staff, LCC participants, key conservation thought leaders, and the broader partnerships.
By October 2016, SECAS will achieve a major milestone with the release of a first draft of a conservation blueprint for the Southeast and Caribbean. The SECAS Blueprint stitches together the work of multiple LCCs into a map for shared conservation and restoration actions across the Southeast and Caribbean. Just as a construction blueprint serves as a plan for achieving an architect’s design of a building, the SECAS Blueprint serves as a plan for making the SECAS vision a reality.
The broad objectives of the summit are to:
- Ignite excitement around the SECAS Blueprint 1.0 and solidify support for continued improvement
- Solicit an affirmation of continued engagement from SEAFWA directors and SENRLG principals
- Generate commitment from partners to support SECAS implementation
- Increase the number of organizations actively participating in implementation of the SECAS Vision
Specific speakers are still being confirmed. Attendance is open to all – and strongly encouraged!
In general the Summit will have two components. The first will focus on the question of ‘Why
’ we need to define the conservation landscape of the future. This section will focus on a conversation with the SEAFWA Directors and SENRLG Principals to articulate why this is needed, what it needs to help them do, and continued engagement. The second component will focus more on ‘How
’ we continue to define the conservation landscape of the future – identifying data gaps and methods to fill those, the mechanics of stitching together a blueprint that helps guide conservation efforts across a diverse landscape, and expanding the conversation to broader audiences that need to be engaged.