Solving global challenges with science
Sharing the ‘direct connection’ message
In partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations
, CI convened a March symposium in Washington, D.C., about the direct connection between nature’s health and U.S. economic and national security interests. More than 150 leaders from various sectors heard CI’s message
from panelists including CI Chairman and CEO Peter Seligmann and Board members Harrison Ford and Richard Haass. And a much larger audience was reached through coverage of the event on BBC World News and ABC-Yahoo! News
Protecting forests and reducing poverty in Peru
Four years after we launched a groundbreaking project in Peru’s Alto Mayo Protected Forest that gives farmers financial incentives to conserve the land, our efforts have paid off. In April, CI announced that our work has reduced carbon emissions
from deforestation in Peru by 2.5 million metric tons, the equivalent of taking 500,000 cars off the road for a year.
Working with high-impact industry
Our mission to change the way high-impact industries do business remains vital, highlighted by an agreement with mining company BHP Billiton to create lasting environmental benefits through ecosystem protection. In December, we announced the launch of the Five Rivers Conservation Project
in Tasmania, Australia. This project will finance the conservation of 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres) of old growth temperate rainforest, wild rivers and alpine wetlands — areas critical to biodiversity and human well-being.
Strengthening sustainable development in Africa
Throughout FY13, CI staff worked with the government of Botswana to advance one of our most urgent priorities: the fulfillment of pledges made at the first-ever Summit for Sustainability in Africa
in 2012. We have agreed on a set of priorities for this process, and CI is currently increasing its presence in Botswana to facilitate close collaboration. This is an exciting development to further the progress made at the Summit, where 10 African governments
agreed to incorporate nature’s value into their national accounting and their decision-making.
Reaching a milestone in rainforest monitoring
it had taken its 1,000,000th photo
— of an elusive jaguar in Peru. These images give CI and our partners the scientific data we need to measure the health of forest ecosystems that people everywhere depend upon.
Holding high-level conversations
In May, we furthered an important friendship when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
took the stage with CI’s vice chair, Harrison Ford, at our 16th annual New York dinner. The two discussed the direct connection
between international conservation and U.S. economic and national security interests.
Marking 5 successful years in Indo-Burma
In March, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
— a partnership among CI and allies in the public and government sectors — marked the end of a remarkable five-year investment
in the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot of Southeast Asia. Through grants to local civil society groups, the initiative strengthened the protection and management of more than 2 million hectares (5 million acres) of land, protected 20 globally threatened species from the illegal wildlife trade, and helped more than 100 local communities.
Creating a shark and ray sanctuary in Indonesia
In February, the government of Raja Ampat, Indonesia, announced the formation of Indonesia’s first-ever shark and manta ray sanctuary
. This 46,000-square-kilometer (18,000-square-mile) sanctuary, which resulted from CI’s close cooperation with the Raja Ampat government and The Nature Conservancy
, is particularly important for the people of Raja Ampat, as sharks maintain healthy fisheries, promote ecosystem health and provide communities with substantial tourism income.
Protecting the biodiversity people depend upon
Three years ago, CI successfully encouraged the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity to adopt ambitious targets
for the amount of land and sea under protection globally. In July 2012, CI again steered the Convention toward a breakthrough; our warning to “pay now for biodiversity loss or pay more later” helped to forge a deal that will give increased biodiversity funding to developing nations
and create better lives for people everywhere.
Advancing the Ocean Health Index
Our oceans provide $21 trillion worth of services to humans every year. But to sustainably manage them, we must measure and monitor their health. That’s the premise behind the August 2012 launch of the Ocean Health Index
— the first comprehensive, global assessment of the ocean and the benefits it provides to people. The Index is a one-of-a-kind tool that businesses, governments, policymakers and the public can use to understand, appreciate and manage our
greatest global resource.
Fighting deforestation with data
In April, CI and Nestlé released the “Deforestation Guides for Commodity Sourcing
.” These guides use satellite data from 32 countries to indicate which regions, in countries of importance to Nestlé’s global supply chains, may be most at risk from deforestation. And the guides are not just being used by Nestlé to source its top commodities more sustainably; they’re also available to the 400+ members of the Consumer Goods Forum
who have committed to achieving zero-net deforestation
from their global supply chains by 2020.
Revitalizing CI’s Business and Sustainability Council
During the last 12 months, CI has revitalized our Business and Sustainability Council
(BSC) — a corporate forum where members can collaborate with CI’s scientific and sustainability experts, and each other, to share success stories and pilot new and innovative demonstration projects in the field. A newly designed BSC relaunched at an event in San Francisco in March, and parties expressed excitement about the ability to drive positive change with the BSC members as we move forward.
Mapping, and investing in, critical natural capital in Guyana
In Guyana, CI staff are identifying and mapping areas that contain “critical natural capital”
— in other words, the ecosystems most essential to human well-being. The effort, which will help CI engage the Guyanese government, private sector and civil society in protecting nature for the benefit of people, is the first of its kind — and comes on the heels of our announcement, in July 2012, of an $8.5 million trust fund
that will provide long-term financing for the management and care of Guyana’s protected areas.
Shaping the Pacific Oceanscape
the Forum’s pledge to sustainably manage 40 million square kilometers (15 million square miles) of ocean, is gaining traction. Among these commitments, the Cook Islands officially launched the world’s biggest marine park
, and New Caledonia pledged to create an even larger marine park
. Both of these initiatives were shaped and supported by CI staff.