It was an amazing year for Conservation International (CI)— a year in which many efforts came to fruition in concert with a major strategic realignment confirming CI’s position of financial and organizational strength.
Two years ago, we realized that unless we demonstrate to the world’s leaders that people need nature to thrive, economic development that fails to incorporate the services nature provides will increasingly undercut conservation. In 2009, we set out to prove our case.
Throughout the year, we began implementing the many changes required to achieve our ambitious new goals. These include the articulation of new vision and mission statements, the identification of key focus areas for our work and a reorganization that brings the best of our science, field work, economic market, policies and communications expertise together in a unified way to tackle the greatest challenges of our time.
In short, this was the most remarkable year of evolution since our founding in 1987. But conservation threats persist, so we paired these vast organizational changes with ongoing work in the trenches.
We completed our $1 billion “Future for Life” campaign, meeting or exceeding nearly all of our goals to avert extinctions and place more land and sea under protection; continued to foster new partnerships; discovered new species; helped broker the largest-ever debt-for-nature swap between the United States and Indonesia; participated in the establishment of the groundbreaking Coral Triangle Initiative; created new scientific and economic tools; rallied public and corporate engagement; and advised more than 30 governments at the Copenhagen climate talks on the pivotal role forests and other ecosystems play in climate solutions.
All of these activities demonstrate CI’s particular ability to work at all points of the conservation continuum in a unified effort to demonstrate how a development approach that values nature can benefit human well-being—and effect real, lasting change—at the national and international scale.
As we move into 2010 and beyond, we still have a lot of work to do. We will need to rally every resource in order to impact the world on a scale sufficient to chart a smarter, more sustainable path. Our FY09 achievements have shown us that it is possible, and we remain fully committed and even more prepared to offer solutions for the urgent challenges we face.
We are proud of how far we’ve come and where we are going. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Peter A. Seligmann, Chairman and CEO
Russell A. Mittermeier, President
Niels Crone, Chief Operating Officer
READ MORE: Download our 2009 Annual Report (PDF - 3.2 MB)