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CNNCTS and Partners Highlighted at the 2024 San Diego Biodiversity Summit

Over 200 conservation professionals—including CNNCTS project leads and partners—came together for the 2024 San Diego Biodiversity Summit to discuss priorities and needs related to the County’s biodiversity, and identify opportunities to address our most urgent conservation needs. Key takeaways from the Summit, which was held on February 22nd on Kumeyaay Lands at the San Diego Natural History Museum, will be used to compile a report for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).

A large projection screen of a presentation slide highlighting three projects, displayed behind Dr. Megan Jennings standing at a podium, facing an indoor auditorium with seated attendees.

On February 22nd, over 200 conservation professionals convened for a day-long Summit at the San Diego Natural History Museum on Kumeyaay homelands to talk about our region’s most urgent conservation needs and opportunities related to biodiversity. The 2024 San Diego Biodiversity Summit, hosted in collaboration with SANDAG and facilitated by The Nonprofit Institute, brought together land managers, educators, and researchers to discuss priorities, gaps, needs, and opportunities related to biodiversity in San Diego county. As the most biodiversity rich county in the continental U.S., San Diego County seeks to protect these abundant natural resources and find ways to educate and engage the community to promote conservation awareness. 

Several of the project leads and partners from the Collaborative of Native Nations for Climate Transformation and Stewardship (CNNCTS) were in attendance at the Summit, leading important discussions on collaboration and engagement and sharing examples of conservation-in-action across the region. San Diego State University’s Dr. Megan Jennings, who co-leads CNNCTS, presented a regional context overview on climate-adapted conservation programs, including CNNCTS and other collaborative projects led in partnership by San Diego State University researchers and the Climate Science Alliance including the Integrated Framework for Drought Response in Southern California’s Natural Landscapes, and the Southern California Montane Forests Climate-Informed Conservation Strategy. Alongside panelists Barbara Kus (USGS) and Marco Amador (American Friends of Promotora de las Bellas Artes), Megan addressed questions from the audience.

CNNCTS project co-leads from the Climate Science Alliance were also in attendance and guided important discussions throughout the day, including Executive Director, Dr. Amber Pairis who co-facilitated a breakout session on “Public Awareness & Education”, and the new Science Program Managers Kara Conner and Patricia Fernandez. Other breakout sessions included “Recreation Management & Outdoor Access”, “Monitoring & Data Access”, and “Economic Resilience”. Afternoon sessions focused on feedback-gathering activities throughout the entire museum. 

Information gathered and shared at the summit will be used to compile a SANDAG report, becoming a useful tool for experts in San Diego county to address our region’s most urgent conservation needs effectively. The CNNCTS team looks forward to reviewing the results at the upcoming 2024 State of Biodiversity Symposium on April 18, 2024 hosted by the San Diego Natural History Museum—we’ll see you there!


Learn more about the Collaborative for Native Nations for Climate Transformation and Stewardship (CNNCTS) at


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