Science tells us that we must restore degraded landscapes — not just protect thriving ones — if we're going to avoid the worst effects of climate change. At Conservation International, we work to rewild damaged ecosystems, enabling nature to recover its ability to sequester carbon, provide critical habitat for species and support long-term human well-being.
Why it matters
Restoration could remove 400 gigatons of CO2 by 2100 — putting us well on the way toward removing the up to 1,000 gigatons required to stay below the 1.5°C climate tipping point.
Every dollar invested in restoration projects generates an average of $10 in benefits.
Around the world, nearly a billion hectares of degraded land can be restored right now — without impacting the food security of local communities.
Conservation International works with governments to develop policies that prioritize assisted natural regeneration — the most cost-effective restoration method for mitigating climate change. This approach, which can range from preventing forest fires to dispersing seed mixes and using nearby trees as seed sources in degraded areas, helps build restoration livelihoods so local communities can earn a living while also helping the planet.
Natural regeneration through good governance
Overlooking Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya’s Chyulu Hills are home to the Maasai people, small-holder farmers and legions of iconic wildlife – including some of the largest populations of elephants in Kenya. They are also beset by unsustainable land use and deforestation. In the face of these struggles, a new plan is underway to restore these famous hills. Together with key partners, particularly the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust and the Big Life Foundation, Conservation International aims to put tens of thousands of hectares of Chyulu Hills savannah woodland and grassland under restoration by 2025.
Modern-day restoration powered by tradition
The Xingu region in northern Brazil is surrounded by Amazon rainforest and the dry savanna of the Cerrado. Over time, this once-thriving ecosystem has been converted into soybean farms and ravaged by the fires. To restore the forests, the people of Xingu implemented a technique — muvuca — that sows a large and varied mixture of seeds (up to 120 species per hectare) to yield native plants, such as cashew and açaí. With support from Conservation International, Indigenous peoples and farmers have worked with Brazil’s Socio-Environmental Institute for more than a decade to perfect this technique, which uses traditional knowledge to return native trees to the land and restore the soil.
- Fires in Amazonia
- WATCH: Women helping to plant forests
- WATCH: What's muvuca?
- WATCH: The partnership that’s helping to restore the Amazon
Latest restoration news
Principles that guide our work:
Diversity, equity and inclusion
Respecting human rights