ESA & the National Nature Assessment

White House Seeks Comments About the Scope of the National Nature Assessment, ESA Seeks Member Input for Comment

In April 2022, the Biden administration announced the launch of the first-ever U.S. National Nature Assessment (NNA). Led by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, this report will assess the state of the U.S.’s lands, waters and wildlife and the specific benefits that they provide. The assessment will also allow the country to look ahead at how nature might change in the future and identify opportunities for investments in nature to help achieve climate, health, environmental justice and economic goals.

OSTP needs scientifically sound input from the ecological and biological community to shape the NNA because taking stock and measuring nature within the entire United States has never been done. Led by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the NNA will assess the state of U.S.  lands, waters and wildlife and the specific benefits that they provide.

The White House Office of Science Technology and Policy (OSTP)  issued a Request for Information (RFI), which is entitled Framing the National Nature Assessment and published in the Federal Register.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for ecologists to provide input to the US government on how nature, biodiversity and ecosystems will be measured to provide the information needed to manage ecosystems and biodiversity within the United States.

OSTP requests a limit of 3500 words and/or seven pages for each RFI submission. The formal deadline to submit comments about shaping the NNA to OSTP is March 31, 2023


More Information, Resources and Tools

NNA Water Cooler Chat (January 9, 2023): ESA past president Dennis Ojima hosted a water cooler chat about the recently announced National Nature Assessment (NNA) and how ESA members and ecologists can participate. View the recording here and access the accompanying slides here.


NNA Webinar (December 6, 2022): White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Assistant Director for Biodiversity and Conservation Science Dr. Heather Tallis joined a webinar hosted by ESA to introduce members to the assessment and provide information about submitting to the OSTP Request for Information. View the webinar recording with live transcript here and see Dr. Tallis’s webinar slides here.



National Nature Assessment Executive Order

On April 21st,  the White House hosted a roundtable on Knowledge in Nature: How Nature Can Help Grow A Better Future. Three expert panels talked about on the importance of nature-based solutions, the initiation of Natural Capital Accounts, and the launch of the first-ever U.S. National Nature Assessment. Remarks were given from Dr. Alondra Nelson and Chair Brenda Mallory, as well as exciting announcements from Secretary Gina Raimondo about the U.S. initiative to establish Natural Capital Accounts and Secretary Deb Haaland about the first-ever National Nature Assessment. These announcements are the start of a renewed commitment to and increased ambition on nature and people across the federal government. The recording of the roundtable is now available on the White House YouTube channel.

The three announcements shared in the webinar were also included in the forests Executive Order that President Biden signed Friday, April 21. The White House has also published a blog and a fact sheet about the three initiatives and their importance to our efforts to better understand, account for, and find solutions in nature. You can access these at the links below:

Video: Knowledge in Nature: How Nature Can Help Grow a Better Future Roundtable

Blog post: Accounting for Nature on Earth Day 2022

White House Fact Sheet: President Biden Signs Executive Order to Strengthen America’s Forests, Boost Wildfire Resilience, and Combat Global Deforestation

Nature Based Solutions: Compendium of Federal Nature-Based Solutions for Coastal Communities, States, Tribes, and Territories