Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CI Vice President for Conservation Policy, at the UN Convention for Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan.
© CI/Photo by Patricia Yakabe Malentaqui
In the best-case scenario, conserving one small corner of the planet has far-reaching consequences. Usually, the biggest impacts come from the congresses and parliaments that create the legal and political foundation for how conservation is practiced and implemented. International decision-making bodies, particularly those under the umbrella of the United Nations System, also play a critical role as agents of change. Perhaps less glamorous, a national law built upon conservation science can open the door to entire protected area networks or changed practices that affect every corner of the environment. The pen can be mightier than the chainsaw.
Helping shape international policies is a natural extension of our work. Every day, CI staff is on the ground in 28 countries building personal relationships with local people empowered to enact change. As a result, we're invited to the table when local, regional, and national leaders need guidance crafting environmentally friendly policies. We're ready to help them make responsible choices articulated with the most recent global guidance.
Our Center for Conservation and Government (CCG) guides those efforts, whether teaming up with community leaders on the tiny islands of Raja Ampat or world leaders at the United Nations System.
- Locally, we might advocate strengthening fishing regulations or bolstering law enforcement efforts in national parks. Learn more »
- Regionally, we help write sustainable practices into law and facilitate policy discussions about issues like biofuels crop production and other land uses.
- Nationally, we dream up development alternatives to large-scale infrastructure investments and help forest-rich nations recognize the role their trees and freshwater resources play in climate change. Internationally, we work with a community of nations to change how we use and protect our planet. Learn more »
The sky is the limit. We support policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help developing countries adapt to climate change. We strive to influence international policy crafted by the United Nations and its implementation at the national and local levels.
When the Presidents of the Philippines, Madagascar, and Liberia recently signed new environmental protections into laws, CI was standing close by — resulting in some of the most visionary approaches to conservation we've ever seen. We are a partner and a friend to savvy, forward-thinking leaders around the world.
CI's International Policy work focuses on three main areas:
CI has been actively involved in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as well as national and local policy efforts to address climate change. We've made convincing arguments to provide incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and to include ecosystem-based and community approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Recent UNFCCC decisions included agreements on REDD+ and adaptation, recognizing CI's field- and science-based recommendations.
CI has a long history of engaging national level policy efforts to protect biodiversity and we have a growing engagement in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) where we have brought scientific information to help determine priority areas for species and ecosystem conservation as well as helped forward concepts about the value of nature to human well being.
As CI's Freshwater Initiative has grown our International Policy team has been working with our field programs to identify priority countries where national water laws can be successfully reformed, supporting the ratification of the UN Watercourses Convention, which will lay the foundation for transboundary water management in the future and working for the greater consideration of freshwater issues at the UNCBD.