Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Engaging America’s Leaders on Global Conservation Issues

Because of the broad economic and geopolitical influence of the United States, addressing global environmental challenges requires deep involvement by the U.S. government.


U.S. policy and funding decisions affect conservation outcomes around the world. There is growing recognition in the United States and other countries of the direct connection between international conservation, resources scarcity and economic, national and global security interests.

Our role

In Cong​ress, Conservation International is a trusted advise​r working to build bipartisan support for international conservation. We work closely with a number of U.S. executive branch departments and agencies, including the Departments of State, Treasury and Interior, as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

U.S. funding for international conservation

Within the U.S. federal budget, our efforts focus primarily on the Development Assistance account and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), as well as programs to promote biodiversity conservation and to combat wildlife trafficking. The Development Assistance account, administered by USAID, is a crucial source of funding for conservation and sustainable development activities around the world. As a partnership of 183 countries, the GEF works with the private sector, international institutions and non-governmental organizations to fund international conservation.

Ocean conservation

Conservation International works to raise awareness and build governmental support for the Ocean Health Index, sustainable fisheries in Hawai‘i and large-scale marine protected areas in the Pacific Oceanscape.

Wildlife trafficking

Conservation International actively supports bipartisan efforts in Congress to provide congressional appropriations that help fight wildlife trafficking, and to enact legislation such as the END Wildlife Trafficking Act, which was signed into law in October 2016. Additionally, we are engaged with various U.S. federal departments and agencies on efforts to implement the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking that was issued by the White House in February 2014.

Learn more about our efforts to stop wildlife trafficking »

Sustainable supply chains

Conservation International is a founding partner in Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, a public-private partnership launched by the U.S. government and the Consumer Goods Forum in 2012. The goal of the alliance is to reduce tropical deforestation caused by production of commodities like palm oil, soy, beef, wood and paper.

The Tropical Forest Conservation Act

Conservation International actively supports bipartisan efforts to enact the Tropical Forest Reauthorization Act (TFCA) of 2015, which would renew the highly successful federal law that has authorized debt-for-nature swaps. As a result of U.S. government funding as well as resources mobilized through interest payments and additional funding leveraged by conservation organizations, programs under the TFCA have generated an estimated US$ 336 million for tropical forest conservation around the world.

By the numbers

US$ 15.5+ billion

More than US$ 15.5 billion in U.S. funding was secured in FY11-FY16 congressional appropriations for Development Assistance and the GEF, including key programs for forest conservation, wildlife protection, healthy marine ecosystems, sustainable landscapes and adaptation.