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Carbon Sequestration through Land Conservation

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Carbon Sequestration through Land Conservation

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Executive Order 2019-003 set climate mitigation goals, created an interagency Task Force, and established policy priorities for all state agencies to work toward reduction of climate impacts and greenhouse gas emissions. The Task Force is chaired by the Cabinet Secretaries from EMNRD and the Environment Department. The Task Force is asked to integrate climate adaptation and mitigation practices into agency policies. This Task Force has set up Climate Action Teams in multiple sectors to work cohesively to integrate climate policy and adaptation into planning and operations of their sectors.

The Forestry Division and New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) are co-leads of the Natural and Working Lands (NWL) – Climate Action Team (CAT). NWL refers to the variety of land uses that make up the natural environment, such as forests and woodlands, grasslands and shrubland, cropland and rangeland, wetlands, and urban green spaces. NWL provide us with the food and fiber we use every day. NWL also play a key role in the global carbon cycle, contributing both greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and sinks.

NWL can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester it in vegetation (through photosynthesis) or soil organic matter. Sustainable management of NWL can increase their net carbon dioxide removal, delivering up to 30% of the global carbon dioxide reduction needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

The NWL – CAT has targeted wildland fire mitigation, forest and watershed restoration, reforestation, urban and community forestry, landscape conservation, and the protection and promotion of healthy soils through the NMDA Healthy Soils Act as actions to combat and mitigate climate impacts.


The State’s Climate Mitigation actions, strategies and Climate Action Teams

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