Editor’s note: Conservation International is powered by 1,500 people in more than 30 countries — their interests, like their hometowns, are all over the map. In this new monthly feature, we highlight three things that kept our experts busy while off the clock.
“The Last of Us”
Carly Siege at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference
“The video-game-to-television pipeline has never had a win like this. The Last of Us, HBO’s latest hit, managed to reach new audiences with a real-world hook: climate change. The series focuses on a global pandemic caused by a fungus that adapts to rising temperatures — allowing it to survive and thrive inside the human body, creating fungal zombies.
Every day at Conservation International, we see the wide-reaching consequences of climate change — from nature loss and resource scarcity to malnutrition and zoonotic disease. The show is a stark reminder of what can happen when the world ignores the repeated warnings of scientists.
To viewers, many of the tropes will feel familiar: a scrappy young heroine, her haggard warden, a society in collapse. But two things set the series apart: dynamic performances from Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett; and stark cinematography illustrating how nature can reclaim vast urban areas over a short time.”
Manager, International Policy
Brooklyn, New York
Diving in Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Garret Goto at Komodo National Park
"I spent most of February and March on a seven-week work trip to Indonesia. Though I’ve visited the country many times, I’d never been in its waters! This time around, I spent several days diving and trekking around Komodo National Park in the Lesser Sunda Islands. It’s generally rainy this time of year, which means it’s low season for tourists — but the abundance of plankton means it’s high season for manta rays. On a single dive, I saw more than 20 mantas — then another dozen while freediving later in the week. Next, I hope to make the trip to Raja Ampat, one of the few locations where manta ray populations are growing.”
Senior Manager, Aquaculture
Read more on Conservation International’s work in the Bird’s Head Seascape and our research on Indonesia’s manta rays.
New storytelling spaces: Sumaúma and The Continent
Nora Moraga-Lewy in Portugal
“The media plays a critical role in shaping narratives — and, by extension, how we understand and respond to global challenges like biodiversity loss and climate change. My work is informed and inspired by media outlets that shift power dynamics and amplify diverse voices. In the process they’re shedding light on underreported stories and promoting transparency.
In the Brazilian Amazon, Sumaúma blends investigative reporting with diverse forms of storytelling — and examines the most important challenges of our time through the lens of urgency, solidarity and hope. Sumaúama stories tend to center both nature and people, elevate Indigenous perspectives, and showcase deep respect for the spiritual and cultural contributions of the forest and its diverse species.
In Africa, The Continent reaches new, diverse audiences through a weekly ‘newspaper’ that’s distributed via the messaging platform, WhatsApp. Its stories are produced by African journalists, and they help promote accountability and access to vital information on climate change, environmental issues, and economic development.”
Manager, Conflict Resolution & Peace
Read more about why Indigenous rights go hand in hand with conservation.
Matthew Ribel is the executive writer at Conservation International. Want to read more stories like this? Sign up for email updates. Also, please consider supporting our critical work.