Conservation and public health advocates call on Latinos to act upon the preservation of public lands and fight against climate change.

Organizations such as the Hispanic Access Foundation are particularly urging Latino communities "to push for the Great American Outdoors Act's passage."  

The legislature is financing $12 billion accumulation of delayed maintenance projects and programs in monuments and national parks of America. It is permanently financing too, needs in the future.

Arizona's US Representative Raul Grijalva said, the global health crisis has concentrated attention on the manner pollution and poverty have historically impacted Latino communities' health and well-being.

The Link Between Health and Conservation

Grijalva also said the connection between Latino health and conservation was clear before COVID-19 happened and the past couple of months of quarantine and lockdown have made the situation clearer than before.

In addition, the representative said, one final vote on the legislation "is pending this week." He added it would provide total funding too, the long-deferred "Land and Water Conservation Fund."

This particular project would improve parkland in nearly every American county, and give back $4 in benefits for each invested dollar. 

As the chairperson of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rep. Grijalva explained that many years of "discriminatory housing practices" have taken low-wage jobs, as well as industrial pollution to a lot of Latino communities with minimal or totally no access to public lands and parks.

Grijalva emphasized as well that majority of the Latinos have no access to parks and green spaces that are close to their communities and homes. He added, "That's a preexisting condition as that stops the needed fresh hair to sustain both mental and physical health.

Conservation Toolkit

Shanna Edberg, the director of programs for the foundation said, the organization has devised an extensive "Congressional Conservation Toolkit" to help legislators and advocates understand further the Latino community's role in advocating conservation and climate change. 

Every section of the toolkit covers cultural, public opinion, health, and economic implications of the policies that safeguard the public lands, on top of the risks posed by climate change and regulatory rollbacks.

Additionally, the toolkit also presents growing apprehension about the climate crisis and its impact on Latinos. This year, the ocean and its strong link to Latino public health, jobs and heritage, are added to the toolkit.

Edberg also said, Latino voters, want Congress to protect public lands, and clean water and air. "It is a great source for legislators, as well as for advocates to discover the way Latino constituents are thinking, not to mention, how they are voting on the said issues."

Passing the Great American Outdoor Act, Edberg continued, would finance thousands of conservation programs and projects across the nation, generating much-needed jobs to alleviate the fallout of the economy because of COVID-19.

The HAF headquarter is located in DC. However, it has created extensive and trust-based community networks nationwide to develop HAF is headquartered in DC, but we have developed extensive, trust-based community networks across the country in order to develop Latino leaders and take understated "voices to the table." 

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