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Nature + You

People need nature to thrive. It’s true for everyone.

Including you.

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Every meal you’ve ever eaten …
every breath you’ve ever taken …
every job you’ve ever had …
everything you’ve ever owned …
Nature made it all possible.



All of these things are brought to you by nature.

Click an icon to find out how.

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Tuna

Whether it’s in a can or a sushi roll, tuna is one of the world’s most widely consumed fish — 4.3 million metric tons of tuna are caught each year. The U.S. eats the most canned tuna of any country in the world, and Japan is the leader in fresh tuna consumption.

Tuna is a healthy source of protein, but increasing demand has consequences:

  • TUNA IS OVERFISHED

    One third of tuna populations are overfished — including highly prized "sushi-grade" bluefin tuna.

  • OVERFISHING MAY LEAD TO JOB LOSS

    Unless tuna fishing is sustainable, it will not generate long-term economic and livelihood benefits to fishermen and their communities.

  • OTHER SPECIES ARE CAUGHT AND KILLED

    When tuna is caught using longlines or nets, other species like dolphins and endangered sea turtles are unintentionally hooked, tangled, trapped in fishing gear and frequently die.

What Can You Do?

Learn about sustainable seafood and how to find it.

Learn more about our work:
Burger

Love a good burger? Lots of people do. The U.S. consumes nearly 50 billion burgers a year, and global demand for beef has gone up by 330% since 1950.

But as delicious as it can be, a burger also comes with a cost:

  • IT'S CONTRIBUTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE

    The production of one burger releases as many greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as driving a car 10 miles.

  • IT USES UP A MIND-BOGGLING AMOUNT OF WATER

    The production of one burger requires 7,000 liters (about 1,850 gallons) of water, the bulk of which is used to grow grain for cattle feed.

  • IT'S INEFFICIENT

    Beef production uses about 60% of the world's agricultural land yet provides less than 2% of the world's calories.

  • IT'S THE #1 CAUSE OF DEFORESTATION IN THE AMAZON

    Because cattle ranching requires large tracts of land, producers frequently clear-cut tropical forest to provide pastures for their herds. Extensive cattle ranching accounts for 80% of the amazon's deforestation.

What Can You Do?

Eating meat-free just one day a week can reduce your impact on the planet.

Learn more about our work:
Medicine

When you're sick, you often get a prescription for a drug to help you recover. But did you know that:

  • Medicines come from the land — and the sea

    At least half of all medicines in use worldwide are derived directly from natural components, primarily from tropical forests. Antiviral drugs and painkillers are among the modern medicines obtained from coral reefs.

  • Medicines derived from nature fight cancer

    Scientists have derived cancer-fighting drugs from the Pacific yew tree and the rosy periwinkle plant among others.

  • There may be cures that we have yet to discover

    Only a small fraction of tropical rainforest species have been analyzed for their medicinal properties. We may yet discover more cures in nature — if we don’t destroy them first.

What can you do?

Protect an acre of rainforest to help us continue our work around the world — and save the forests that could contain nature’s next wonder drug.

Learn more about our work:
Transportation

You probably already know that most vehicles run on fossil fuels like diesel and gasoline, and that to keep our vehicles moving, the world must keep drilling for more oil and gas — but it bears repeating:

  • It’s more than just our cars

    There are more than 1 billion vehicles on the road worldwide, including buses and trucks, which are disproportionately heavy polluters.

  • It’s bad for our health

    Transportation-related air pollution contributes to an increased risk of death, particularly from cardiopulmonary causes, and it increases the risk of other respiratory symptoms and diseases such as asthma.

  • It contributes to global climate change

    Every gallon of gas used by a motor vehicle emits more than 19 pounds of carbon dioxide and other gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and lead to climate change.

  • It’s a limited resource

    According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there are fewer than 1.3 trillion barrels of crude oil left in the world oil reserve, which at the current rate of consumption would last the world only 41 more years.

What can you do?

Explore alternative energy sources like biofuels and wind power, switch to a more fuel-efficient car, take public transit if you can, or ride a bike!

Learn more about our work:
Building

Chances are, you’re reading this from the inside of an office building, a house or an apartment complex. Maybe you’ve recently crossed a bridge or attended an event at a stadium.

The next time you’re near any of those structures, think about this:

  • Nature builds cities

    Most large, modern structures are made from concrete, glass and steel. All three are derived from nature. Steel is particularly important, as it provides the skeletal framework that supports our cities.

  • Mining for raw materials can be harmful

    Iron ore is one of the main components in steel, and it’s mined around the world in a variety of ways. If not done responsibly, mining can harm the ecosystems and communities where it takes place — destroying vegetation, increasing soil erosion and creating hazardous waste.

  • Steel production contributes to climate change

    Steelmaking is one of the world’s leading industrial sources of greenhouse gases. In 2010, according to the International Energy Agency, the iron and steel industry accounted for approximately 6.7% of total world CO2 emissions.

What can you do?

Recycled materials reduce the need for newly mined and produced materials. Consider using recycled materials in your own home, pushing for their use in your workplace — and staying in LEED-certified hotels when you travel.

Learn more about our work:
Cupcake

Think about the last time you stopped at the store and picked up a box of cupcakes for a meeting or a birthday party. You might have considered the calorie count ... but what about the palm oil?

  • It’s in a lot of stuff we eat and buy

    Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil found in about half of all the packaged food products on supermarket shelves — not just baked goods and snacks, but also cosmetics and lotions, soaps and detergents, even pet food.

  • It is growing in popularity

    Oil palm is incredibly productive, producing far more oil than other crops on the same amount of land. Today, a third of all vegetable oil used worldwide is palm oil.

  • It can be very bad for the planet

    Most palm oil is produced on large industrial plantations, primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia. Often, tropical forests are cleared to make way for oil palm plantations that are destroying the habitat for endangered species like the orangutan. This deforestation also releases carbon into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, contributing to global climate change.

  • It can also be sustainable

    Sustainable palm oil is possible. Companies and producers must commit to increasing production on existing plantations instead of clearing forests or peatlands. Processors and traders must purchase this oil. And manufacturers and retailers need to commit to using only sustainable oil, from sustainable sources, in their products.

What can you do?

Look for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s certification label on products

Learn more about our work:


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EditSection TitleWe need nature.
EditSection Description:But people are taking more from nature than it can provide.
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EditResult value:15M
EditResult field:hectares burned
EditText:Every year, 15 million hectares of forest are cut, slashed and burned. That’s more than 75,000 football fields every single day.

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EditCircle color:fact--dark-blue    
EditCircle icon:icon-water
EditResult value:783M
EditResult field:lacking clean water
EditText:Demand for water already exceeds supply in many parts of the world — in fact, 783 million people lack access to clean water.

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EditResult value:2x
EditResult field:amount of high temps
EditText:From 2000 to 2009, the U.S. saw twice as many daily record high temperatures as daily record lows.

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EditCircle color:fact--green    
EditCircle icon:icon-food
EditResult value:2x
EditResult field:global food demand
EditText:Global demand for food is expected to double by 2050 — yet wild pollinators are dying, 75 billion tons of soil disappear every year, and droughts are becoming more common.

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EditCircle icon:icon-fish
EditResult value:30%
EditResult field:fisheries overexploited or depleted
EditText:Around the world, 30% of fisheries are overexploited or depleted — threatening the diets of more than 1 billion people who get essential nutrition from the sea.

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EditResult value:¾
EditResult field:coral reefs dying
EditText:Three-quarters of the world’s coral reefs are under threat. An estimated 500 million people, including many of the world’s most vulnerable, depend on those reefs for food, protection from storms, medicines and tourism income.
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​​That’s where Conservation International comes in.

We’re more than 800 people, on 6 continents, using science, field work and partnership to build a movement.

For humanity.

Because saving nature is the only way to save ourselves.

Read our Humanifesto.

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