We believe first and foremost that conservation must benefit people. Without a doubt, our planet’s ecological health is inextricably linked to human well-being. We depend on Earth for our sustenance, our livelihoods and our very survival. What we take from it must be taken responsibly so that it will continue to be available to us. We must balance the needs of the environment with the needs of humanity. This is what conservation is all about.
Striking that balance requires the understanding that Earth is under increasing pressure because of us. Human behaviors that cause habitat destruction and over-consumption of resources serve as stark reminders that there is much work to be done if we are to preserve the natural bounty of this wondrous planet for generations to come.
Conserving Earth’s biological diversity is a critical component of ensuring our continued well-being. More than 1.35 billion people, many of them living in indigenous communities, inhabit some of the biologically richest and most threatened areas on Earth. Their physical, economic and spiritual well-being depends on continued access to such basic necessities as clean air and water, food, fuel, clothing, medicine and shelter.
CI supports these human communities by working to ensure that the basic natural products that they depend on remain intact. Our initiatives are aimed at reducing poverty, encouraging responsible consumption and land use, and providing economically advantageous alternatives to such harmful behaviors as slash-and-burn agriculture. We move forward with the knowledge that the actions we and our partners take today will determine our planet’s fate, and this impacts us all.
We collaborates with partners around the world to pioneer the use of "conservation incentive agreements," making conservation economically viable and attractive to resource owners.
Responsible tourism – or ecotourism – in hotspots and high-biodiversity wilderness areas can be both a sustainable economic alternative and a successful conservation strategy.
Human welfare is critical to ensuring that conservation initiatives and actions worldwide are sustainable and effective.