Statement From Conservation International CEO Dr. M. Sanjayan on Largest Conservation Rollback in US History

December 4, 2017

Today we are witnessing the largest conservation rollback in the history of the United States, the nation that has long led the world in national parks and protected areas.

From the work of Conservation International scientists, we know that this is a worldwide problem. Globally, more than 236 million acres of parks and conserved lands have lost protections and been opened to unsustainable extraction and development.

When a conservation area is created, it is meant to be forever. Conservation International and our partners have supported the creation of nearly 1.5 billion acres around the world under a model of protection in perpetuity, because people everywhere benefit from all that nature provides. Today’s action by the Trump Administration fundamentally undermines America’s preeminent leadership in protected areas.

The President’s reduction of these protected areas also runs counter to an outpouring of public support for national parks and national monuments expressed by millions of Americans over many months. As this action enters a long court battle, I want to thank the individuals in our community who have raised their voices in support of these natural treasures.

Ultimately, this isn’t about nature. It’s about people. The evidence is clear: Properly caring for our natural world is crucial to the physical and economic well-being of us all.

About Conservation International

Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International and its groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign, and follow Conservation International’s work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.