Rwandan women balancing water-filled plastic containers on their heads, Rwanda.
© CI/Photo by Russell A. Mittermeier
Freshwater ecosystems provide essential services for human populations and are home to the greatest
concentration of biodiversity on Earth.
However, the world’s freshwater ecosystems and their myriad of species are being abused and degraded due to depletion of water supplies, pollution of what remains, unsustainable harvest of species, the introduction of alien species and changing climate.
Conservation International is addressing the threats to freshwater services for the benefit of humans and biodiversity alike through its Freshwater Initiative. Our freshwater strategy aims to enhance global to local freshwater security by:
- Increasing knowledge of management alternatives
- Incorporating freshwater values into development decisions
- Strengthening markets for freshwater services
- Promoting enabling policies and governance
- Scaling up action for the conservation of entire natural freshwater systems, from headwater to estuary.
The results CI is generating are critical for making a business case for biodiversity and ecosystem services conservation as a means of generating human welfare benefits within larger contexts of human development, poverty alleviation and land-use decision-making.
These results can only be achieved through strong partnerships with research institutions, national and international nongovernmental organizations (including development and humanitarian organizations), governments, corporations and local organizations among others. Such partnerships are a cornerstone of CI’s work.