Our conservation success spans more than 40 countries on four continents. When it comes to determining our priorities, science leads the way. Using superb field research, we pinpoint specific regions rich in biological value – where people, plants and animals are desperately in need of conservation action. Human well-being depends on our ability to preserve biodiversity and natural resources.
Scientists now agree that the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests and other natural habitats are largely responsible for climate change.
- With our partners, we have launched groundbreaking initiatives for climate, community and biodiversity conservation in China, Madagascar, South Africa, Ecuador and the Philippines.
- In January 2008, CI convened a retreat of our top leaders from around the world. The team set an ambitious goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to two billion tons per year by conserving forests and other natural habitats in our priority regions and that would also help millions of people and more than 100,000 threatened species in those areas adapt to the impacts of climate change.
- CI’s Board of Directors approved the plan in February, and members of CI’s Chairman’s Council helped us secure more than $10 million to begin implementing the plan.
CI’s Center for Applied Biodiversity Science is the engine that drives our work and determines how best to apply our conservation efforts.
- Scientists in CABS and across CI produced a total of 160 publications, including 62 peer-reviewed articles, seven books, 20 book chapters and eight conference proceedings.
- In association with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission and other partners, CABS completed global-scale assessments of all mammals and made the databases available to the general public.
- The global mammal assessment found that nearly 50 percent of the world’s 390 primate species are in danger of extinction. In addition, the global amphibian assessment added more than 360 new species to the database.
- CI scientists also made important contributions on climate change adaptation and mitigation, including major inputs to the 13th Conference of Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Bali, Indonesia.
CI strives to empower indigenous and local communities to conserve essential resources and strengthen the fundamental role of biodiversity conservation in providing sustainable livelihoods.
- In September 2007, with the help of CI, the Wai Wai people of Konashen District in Guyana created the nation’s first Community-Owned Conservation Area.
- In the Guiana Shield, the Brazil Center for Biodiversity Conservation is working with the Kayapó people to consolidate conservation in a set of six indigenous lands that together represent 10.9 million hectares (25 million acres) of pristine forests in the most deforested sector of the Brazilian Amazon.
- CI has implemented conservation agreements to protect more than 20,000 square kilometers (7,700 square miles) by engaging with and benefiting 100 indigenous communities, local groups and private landowners in 17 countries around the world.
- Conservation agreements have increased school attendance in communities in Cambodia by 25 percent, provided wages for conservation jobs such as patrolling and reforestation to more than a dozen communities in 10 countries, and offered more than 100 scholarships to children in the Solomon Islands.
LEARN MORE: Discover other highlights of FY08. Download our 2008 Annual Report (PDF - 6.5 MB).
Through their work with CI’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business (CELB) our corporate partners stepped up in FY08 to address environmental sustainability as a business priority.
- The Starbucks Coffee Company five-year commitment began with an initial investment of $7.5 million, most of which will support projects in Mexico and Indonesia.
- Marriott will lead the hotel industry in reducing CO2 emissions through energy efficiency, a commitment to green buildings and incentives to green its $10 billion supply chain. To offset remaining CO2 emissions, Marriott will fund the protection of 405,000 hectares (1.4 million acres) of rainforest in the Brazilian state of Amazonas.
- CI and FIJI Water are helping protect more than 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) in Fiji’s Sovi Basin. The CO2 saved is equivalent to keeping two million cars off the road for a year.
- Wal-Mart underscored its commitment to sustainability by working with CI and the Brazilian state of Amapa to fund the Amapa National Forest, which provides freshwater to 500,000 people, prevents CO emissions and preserves the Amazon’s biodiversity.
In 2008, CI re-imagined Conservation.org to make CI’s work more accessible to the millions who gather information on the Web. Innovations include expanded video content, a personal carbon calculator and the launch of a climate change campaign featuring Harrison Ford.
- In May 2008, CI expanded and formalized our partnership with the International League of Conservation Photographers, so that we may draw easily on the best photographers in the world.
- A series of expeditions to the Bird’s Head Seascape of Indonesia led to the discovery of a new species of walking shark. Our Strategic Marketing and Global Communications division took our scientists’ good work and delivered a massive promotional campaign resulting in funds for the region and the designation of new protected areas by the Indonesian government.
- As part of our vision to catalyze a new global conservation ethic and raise CI’s brand awareness among a general consumer audience, we created new corporate partnerships with Starbucks and McDonald’s.
- CI Board of Directors Vice Chair Harrison Ford served as spokesman for our “Lost There, Felt Here” campaign, which drove new traffic to our Web site, where visitors were able to “Protect an Acre” for $15, calculate their own carbon footprint and navigate forests and climate issues around the world through an interactive map.
Government + Policy
Since the U.N. Conference in Bali on Climate Change, CI has been working with governments and multilateral organizations to further build on momentum and opportunities.
- CI’s Center for Conservation and Government (CCG) continues to work with the World Bank on developing the Forest Carbon Partnership Fund and other climate funds, and to ensure that several key high-biodiversity countries are able to participate and benefit accordingly.
- After a coalition including CI spent a year opposing proposed cuts of up to 50 percent in USAID’s international budget for biodiversity conservation, the House and Senate both produced the highest budget recommendations ever for these programs: $175 million and $195 million, respectively.
- U.S. government support for the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) gained considerable momentum in the past months and now includes a financial commitment of approximately $32 million over the next five years. With important support from WWF, the Nature Conservancy and CI, the CTI is being led by six country governments: Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands.
IN-DEPTH: Find out more about CI's work in FY08. Download the 2008 Annual Report (PDF - 6.5 MB).
In FY08, CI crossed the $1 billion threshold of our $1.2 billion Future for Life Campaign. As we approach the finish line, we thank our contributors and encourage continued support.
- The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, whose long-term funding, including $79 million in FY08, has enabled CI to increase our strategic partnerships and expand scientific inquiry.
- From one generous individual, CI received $10 million – nearly half of the $21 million needed to launch our innovative new climate change business plan.
- The Walton Family Foundation renewed support for CI’s Seascape initiative, approving two grants for more than $26 million over three years.
- CI and our partners in the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) signed several agreements for significant new support for this highly successful global program. To date, the program has provided grants to CI regional programs and more than 1,300 partners.
- The “Blue Auction,” held in the historic Musée Oceanographique de Monaco, cosponsored by the Monaco-Asia Society under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II, and conducted by Christie’s International. Auctioned off for a total of more than $2 million were the naming rights to 10 species discovered by a CI survey in the Bird’s Head Seascape.
- The Wrigley Company Foundation has committed to implement CI’s first initiative to weave conservation practices into the everyday lives of people around the world by working to inform the public about practical solutions to global and local conservation problems.
During FY08, CI and its partners supported the creation of more than 90 terrestrial and marine protected areas, which jointly cover an area of 280,000 square kilometers (108,000 square miles).
- CI-Bolivia supported the establishment of the largest Municipal Protected Area in the region – “Pampas del Rio Yacuma” – with 616,453 hectares (1.54 million acres) and provided technical assistance to the municipalities around Madidi and Pilon Lajas protected areas to complete their municipal development plans.
- In Peru, CI supported research, conservation and sustainable management activities in the Rodal Tahuamanu Conservation Concession, protecting it from agricultural and timber activities and providing key habitat for threatened species.
- In Cambodia, CI and its partners worked toward the protection of globally threatened species found only in the 402,000 hectares (993,000 acres) of Central Cardamoms Protected Forest, the largest contiguous track of evergreen forest in Indochina.
- In the Philippines, CI supported the expansion and management of the Penablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape, home to thousands of animals and plant species, notably the Critically Endangered Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi).
- CI-Guyana recently completed the boundary delineation for the proposed Kanuku Mountains Protected Area and submitted it to the government of Guyana for approval. The final delineated area is 611,000 hectares (1.5 million acres) and is agreed to by all involved in the process.
- In FY08, CI and our partners helped create four new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in marine priority regions. The highlight of the year was the expansion of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati to more than 41 million hectares (101.3 million acres), making it the largest MPA in the world and protecting both important shallow reefs and deep sea waters.
DOWNLOAD: Get the 2008 Annual Report (PDF - 6.5 MB).