Moscow skyline at sunset

Creating policies that address climate change


To address the challenges of climate change, governments around the world must collaborate to develop and improve local, national, and international policy frameworks that accelerate greenhouse gas mitigation, increase climate adaptation, mobilize new financial resources, and create inclusive, climate resilient societies.

Our role

Conservation International supports governments at all levels by providing the evidence and analysis needed to enact ambitious climate policies, with a focus on ensuring that ecosystems and their services are fully valued, and broad and inclusive participation is enhanced.

We advise governments as they strive to develop low-carbon strategies with effective, efficient and equitable mitigation and adaptation plans — including via REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) and Ecosystem-based Adaptation, which involves the conservation, sustainable management and restoration of ecosystems.

Conservation International also supports governments in engaging with Indigenous and local community institutions, establishing sound and sustainable benefit-sharing mechanisms, incentivizing forest conservation, transferring technical skills and knowledge, and enhancing transparency.

Our plan

Conservation International provides decision-makers with accessible, policy-relevant science and evidence-based recommendations that support the restoration and protection of critical ecosystems as part of global climate action and national sustainable development goals.

We focus on increasing the deployment of natural climate solutions — actions that conserve, restore or improve the management of ecosystems to remove and store greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. These actions are essential to ensuring the world can limit global temperate rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

Furthermore, natural climate solutions provide a host of additional benefits — conserving biodiversity, creating sustainable livelihoods and improving human health outcomes, thus allowing countries to advance their climate, biodiversity, and sustainable development goals.


Indigenous peoples and local communities have been using their traditional practices and knowledge to adapt to environmental changes for a long time, while also helping to mitigate climate change by conserving and managing important forest areas around the world. Fully integrating local perspectives and solutions into climate action strategies will be critical to maintaining functioning ecosystem services in the face of a changing climate and ensuring benefits are shared equitably. Conservation International works to include these elements in national and international climate change policy dialogues and planning processes.



Using targeted programs that include technical guidance, training workshops and community engagement, Conservation International and our partners build knowledge and capacity in-country while using site-based demonstration activities to inform and guide long-term national policies and development discussions.



On a global scale, Conservation International engages with international bodies working to make joint decisions and take action against climate change. Our team leverages field experience and scientific expertise to provide policy and technical advice to governments and delegations during and in preparation for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations.

Learn more about Conservation International’s positions and engagement in the UN Climate Negotiations »


Climate policy priorities

Aerial view of agricultural fields on a mountain.
© Rod Mast

Incorporating nature in national climate action

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and determine how each country will take responsibility for helping to curb climate change. Natural climate solutions are critical elements to include in and enhance ambitious NDCs. As countries update their NDCs, Conservation International and partners have published a “Guide for Including Nature in NDCs” to summarize the technical resources available to countries as they consider how to incorporate natural climate solutions. A complementary resource, “Guidelines on Enhanced Action: A guide on how countries may include blue carbon in their Nationally Determined Contributions,” is also available. This separate resource is intended to support countries to promote and preserve the benefits of coastal ecosystems in their NDCs.

Prioritizing nature in national climate action »


Hopetoun Falls, Australia 
© Terence Tham/500px

Incentivizing investments in nature as a climate solution

Conservation International works to advance the role of nature as a climate solution, including through the creation of national carbon pricing signals and incentives in global carbon markets and related financial instruments to mobilize new resources towards the climate agendas. We also support the development and implementation of carbon projects, which incentivize actions to protect and restore forests and other natural ecosystems that remove and store carbon from the atmosphere.

Protecting forests, climate, communities »

Reducing airline emissions by protecting forests »



Supporting forest protection through REDD+

REDD+ is a United Nations-backed framework that aims to curb climate change by stopping the destruction of forests while also safeguarding Indigenous and community rights, livelihoods and biodiversity.

REDD+ helps countries value the carbon and ecosystem services their forests provide, and create financial incentives to reduce deforestation. Under the framework, countries and landholders that protect and restore forests are rewarded with results-based payments from developed countries and other donors. To support REDD+ efforts, Conservation International is helping design and carry out projects that conserve and protect forests, keeping carbon out of the atmosphere and benefiting communities that rely on forests for their livelihoods. Furthermore, we work with governments to provide the technical support and policy recommendations needed to establish robust accounting frameworks and access results-based payments.

REDD+: Saving forests to keep our climate safe »


The calm, clear water in Bird's Head allows corals to grow very near the surface in this unique environment.
© Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock

Oceans and climate

To ensure the long-term health of marine ecosystems on which humanity depends, we must massively accelerate conservation, restoration and protection of our ocean and coastal ecosystems through effective management and governance.

Conservation International works to advance ocean-related priorities at the local, national and global levels to achieve the goal of conserving at least 30 percent of the global ocean by 2030 and sustainably manage marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. We are actively driving ocean-climate policy to ensure substantial integration of priority ocean issues within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Blue Carbon Initiative Policy Working Group »