Programs and partnerships
Our work in Asia-Pacific
Conservation International's work in Asia-Pacific began in 1989 with a pledge to protect some three dozen of the Earth's biodiversity hotspots, including the Philippine archipelago and the Sundaland rainforests of Southeast Asia.
Since then, our focus in this region has expanded to include other ocean and forest areas that are critical to human well-being. We help improve food security, support innovative financing for conservation projects and establish protected area networks that encompass essential ecosystems.
Today we have offices in 12 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, working closely with Indigenous communities, local and national governments, and the private sector to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to humanity.
Protecting nature for climate
Science tells us that nature can provide over a third of the solution we need to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 keep global warming below 2°C. We just need to keep our forests standing – and restore what we can. Conservation International is actively working with governments, civil society and private sector partners to protect and restore critical forests in Cambodia, Indonesia, China, Philippines, Timor-Leste and Fiji, in ways that provide not only carbon benefits, but safeguard biodiversity and develop sustainable livelihood options for forest-dependent communities.
Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Resilience Initiative
Conservation International Australia is part of the technical working group for the Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Resilience Initiative, launched in 2020 in response to the ‘Black Summer’ bushfires. The Initiative aims to develop a long-term blueprint for addressing wildfire and disaster resilience in Australia – with an eye to sharing new approaches and technologies internationally.
Leopard shark research
Australia has the world’s most robust remaining populations of the gentle and beautiful leopard shark (also known as zebra sharks in Australia). In collaboration with a consortium of partners, including the University of Queensland, we are working to better understand the habitat and dietary needs of leopard sharks. The findings will be used to support conservation in the wild.
In close collaboration with Google, we are working with WWF Australia to train an artificial intelligence program to identify images of Australian wildlife when they pass by trail cameras deployed in bushfire recovery sites. Having hundreds of ‘eyes’ deployed across these landscapes allows conservation managers understand how well different species are recovering and make the right plans to help them. Wildlife Insights is already in use in 39 countries around the world, and we’re excited to be part of introducing it to Australia.
Surf Conservation Partnership
Australia is the largest surfing nation in the Southern Hemisphere and has around 2.5-3.5 million active surfers. Australians are also great travelers and it is easy to see the impacts of unsustainable development — including tourism — on the places we love to visit and surf. There is such an overlap between great waves and areas of biological importance that Conservation International and Save the Waves Coalition have teamed up with a vision to create a global network of Surf Protected Areas. With a focus on women and girls, this program is helping local communities take control of tourism development — and harness surf tourism dollars to protect the coasts and the ocean areas that not only bring the surfers but underpin their livelihoods and food security. With great progress in Southeast Asia already, plans for Fiji, Costa Rica and Hawaii, and requests from even more places, we need support to expand our impact as fast as we can.
Known pre-independence as ‘East Timor,’ Timor-Leste is one of the world’s youngest and poorest nations, and one of Australia’s closest neighbours. Conservation International’s fantastic Timorese team is working hard with the government to operationalize the country’s network of protected areas, both land and marine, so Timor’s natural resources can continue to provide for the country’s people. So far we have helped created 20 marine protected areas to protect fish stocks, and made inroads to watershed restoration and functionality of the country’s only National Park. But there is so much more work to be done.
Over the past 10 years Conservation International has worked with ‘floating communities’ on the Tonle Sap Lake. The lake, which represents the country’s freshwater ‘fish factory’, has been under increasing pressure from overfishing, climate change and loss of its seasonally flooded forests. Our partnership with communities on the Lake has seen improvements in local fish stocks, livelihoods and family welfare. Women are gaining new financial security and greater influence in environment-related decision-making. Our Cambodia team is adapting and expanding this assistance across the lake to meet demand.