Map of SECAS geography.
SECAS map.

The SECAS Steering Committee met this week to consider a number of SECAS activities and accomplishments and to employ its charge of providing oversight and strategic direction to the SECAS initiative.

Leading the agenda was an overview of progress to date on several overarching recommendations coming from last year’s SECAS Futures Project. The five recommendations address immediate improvements in SECAS governance by strengthening core processes, improving communications, and broadening engagement. Progress has been made in each category, and the Steering Committee will continue to be engaged in supporting the implementation.

The Steering Committee also endorsed the release of a SECAS Statement of Purpose. As one of the recommendations of the Futures Project, the statement was collaboratively developed among the SECAS Points of Contact, SECAS staff, Steering Committee, and other partnership representatives to improve coordination and communication about SECAS while providing greater detail on the vision, structure, function and organization of the initiative. The Statement of Purpose complements an existing SECAS factsheet by describing the background and guiding principles of SECAS in greater detail.

The Steering Committee also considered details emerging for a special symposium on SECAS and the 30x30 conservation goal at the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies conference October 17-20, 2021 in Roanoke, VA. The symposium, titled SECAS and 30x30: Identifying Opportunities and Defining Outcomes in the Southeast, will feature invited speakers, a high-level panel discussion, and a facilitated working session to examine key definitions, specific actions, roles and barriers to help shape implementation of this national goal in the Southeast. While Steering Committee members expressed concerns about the lack of details surrounding the national 30x30 goal, there is also recognition that SECAS can provide the forum for a collaborative effort to shape the direction and outcomes of 30x30 in the region.