In FY09, Conservation International’s (CI) ambitious planning efforts of the past years coalesced, allowing us to align multiple efforts toward a single goal: to help society move toward a smarter, more sustainable development path.
SCIENCE: In 2009, CI’s scientists continued to explore and pursue natural solutions to the biggest challenges of our time.
- Our Rapid Assessment Programs led teams of scientists into some of the world’s most remote and unstudied places to identify species new to science in places as diverse as Colombia, Madagascar, Ecuador, Guyana, Papua New Guinea and Venezuela.
- CI led environmental assessments that found that one-third of the world’s reef-building corals face elevated extinction risk from climate change and local impacts.
- Our scientists helped to identify and map the distribution of more than 20,000 freshwater species worldwide. In FY09 , CI also presented preliminary results of a five-year study demonstrating the positive ecological and socio-economic impacts derived from the effective management of marine managed areas.
- We made further progress on TEAM (the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network), an “early warning system” that monitors ecosystem services in order to help inform political, business and agricultural development decisions.
- We helped to develop OSIRIS (the Open Source Impacts of REDD Incentives Spreadsheet), which enables countries to calculate how much income they would likely receive and how much global greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced under various models to avoid deforestation.
FIELD: Last year, our work in the field contributed to the protection of critical ecosystems around the world.
- With CI’s help, and through the use of conservation agreements, the government of Ecuador established Socio Bosque, a national forest protection and poverty alleviation initiative.
- In Cambodia, the government endorsed a plan proposed by CI that will triple the coverage of freshwater sanctuaries within Tonle Sap.
- CI worked with 35 local villages, the Woodland Park Zoo and other partners to establish Papua New Guinea’s first-ever National Conservation Area.
- In Namibia, with support from CI, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) helped establish the Sperrgebiet National Park—the largest single-area proclamation in Africa in the last 20 years.
- CI helped to negotiate a $30-million debt-for-nature swap, the largest of its kind, between the United States and Indonesia, to protect the habitats of endangered species.
POLICY + GREEN ECONOMIES: We continued to deliver unified approaches that achieve impressive results.
- Working in concert with The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund and a host of regional partners, CI helped establish the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security—an agreement among the leaders of Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Malaysia to protect their natural marine ecosystems.
- Thanks in part to CI’s advisory role at the December 2009 international climate conference in Copenhagen, language on initial funding for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation + sustainable management of forests) and adaptation actions was included in the Copenhagen Accord.
- We brokered agreements and pushed for federal action via the Avoided Deforestation Partners group and the high-profile Governors’ Global Climate Summit convened by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- We fostered a robust voluntary forest carbon market through the Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance.
- The CI-facilitated Indigenous Advisory Group provided advice and feedback to promote understanding of the needs, priorities and concerns of indigenous peoples related to climate change.
- In partnership with national leadership, CI helped develop Suriname’s “Green Vision” strategy, which will generate revenue to keep the country’s forests standing.
- CI assisted Guyana as it secured significant funding from Norway for the strategy’s implementation.
- In Liberia, CI economists have been working with the government and partner organizations to analyze the costs and benefits of different green development scenarios, and to link the benefits of nature to Liberia’s long-term national Poverty Reduction Plan.
FUND-RAISING: In 2009 , we secured essential funding to protect nature so people can thrive.
- We completed our five-year, $1-billion “Future for Life” campaign a year early, laying the groundwork for CI to move from an organization protecting species and places to a global group taking actions that impact ecosystems, economies and cultures as a whole.
- CI proved the power of public outreach through a massive public engagement campaign in FY09. The international “Lost There, Felt Here” campaign featured Harrison Ford and makes the case for the shared impact of lost forests, and incorporates the award-winning “Protect an Acre” online tool, through which members donated more than $600,000 in FY09 alone to support the protection of forests and climate change mitigation efforts.
- In November 2009, the Walt Disney Company made the largest single corporate contribution ever towards reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. With CI’s assistance, this funding will help establish large-scale forest carbon initiatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Peru.
DOWNLOAD: Get the 2009 Annual Report (PDF - 3.2 MB)