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California Governor Signs Biodiversity Protection Order

California Governor Jerry Brown speaks in the U.S. Climate Action Center at t...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: California Governor Jerry Brown speaks in the U.S. Climate Action Center at the COP 23 Fiji UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, on Nov. 11, 2017.

Gov. Jerry Brown directed state agencies to work together to protect plant and animal species in the face of climate change and declared that Sept. 7 will forever be known as "California Biodiversity Day" in an executive order signed Friday.

Brown's order comes ahead of a global climate summit he's hosting next week in San Francisco and as he prepares to leave office in January.

It directs his natural resources and agriculture chiefs to come up with plans for educating the public about threats to biodiversity, protecting native species and restoring natural lands and waterways. They're also directed to explore ways to pay for those efforts.

"The state's plants and animals co-exist to create the complex and beautiful ecosystems upon which so much of California's people and economy depend," Brown wrote.

Climate change will require a "more thoughtful and systemic" approach to preserve ecosystems, Brown said. He says California is home to hundreds of species of animals, amphibians and fish and thousands of native plants — including at least 2,000 considered rare.

Brown's climate summit will highlight efforts by cities, states, companies and other entities besides national governments to address climate change.

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