Conservation International (CI) is an organization of global reach and impact, dedicated to preserving nature’s diversity for the well-being of humanity. In 2010, CI announced the opening of Conservation International Europe, its new policy office in the heart of the European Union (EU) institutions.
This initiative builds on CI’s relationships with several European governments, agencies and civil society organizations, and goes a step further. The opening of CI Europe reinforces CI’s engagement in Europe, with a primary focus on EU policy. It shows CI’s recognition of the growing importance of the EU as a “global agent of change”.
With its 27 member states and 500 million citizens, the EU is the world’s largest economy and has a vast impact on the world’s resources (including fisheries, timber, and land use). The EU is also the top provider of official development assistance in the world ($82 billion disbursed in 2010), and is a key player in international discussions on development, climate change, ecosystems services, and the economics of biodiversity.
Finally, the EU also has direct presence in several of CI’s priority areas, the “biodiversity hotspots” and “major biodiversity wilderness areas”, particularly in the Mediterranean region and through its overseas regions and territories.
Engaging with the EU is fundamental to achieve CI’s vision of human well-being through healthy, sustainable ecosystems. CI Europe aims at being a trusted advisor on European policies that have a global impact on the maintenance of healthy ecosystems, biodiversity conservation and human welfare. In order to maximize efficiency, all this work is done in cooperation with other organizations involved with sustainability at European level.
“CI’s global reach and on-the-ground presence in 40 countries gives us a unique perspective and the ability to bring local insights to global issues”
“With the EU at the leading edge of environmental leadership it became critical for us to have a permanent presence in the epicentre of European decision-making.”
President of Conservation International
CI Europe works closely with both CI headquarters in the United States and the environment community at EU level, and therefore contributes to foster transatlantic dialogue on critical conservation issues. Additionally, CI Europe builds on CI’s global vision based on science and field experience, with more than 30 offices worldwide and a network of more than 1000 partners:
“We are excited to join the dialogue and work closely with stakeholders at EU and Member State levels in raising the political priority of nature on the European agenda. Because CI is based on science and field demonstration activities, we have a great added value in bringing input from the ground to the EU level. This is why I believe CI has the capacity to play a role at EU level in promoting the importance of nature as the foundation of human development.” — Jean-Philippe Palasi, Director of EU Policy, CI Europe.