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EditPhoto Title:People Need Nature
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EditImage Url:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_12383905.jpg
EditImage Description:Waterfalls and autumn colours, Milanovac lake, Upper Lakes Plitvice National Park, Croatia. © Maurizio Biancarelli/ Wild Wonders of Europe
EditPhoto Credit:© Maurizio Biancarelli/ Wild Wonders of Europe
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Our food, our water, our livelihoods — they all come from nature.

But we’re taking more than our share, and now the fate of the one and only planet we’ve ever called home is uncertain.

The challenges facing Mother Nature’s oceans, rivers and forests affect us all — and it’s up to all of us to work together to tackle them. Because, ultimately, saving nature is the only way to save ourselves.

Why is nature important for people?

Food We Eat

Everything we eat comes from nature. But people are placing immense pressure on the planet. The global population, already over 7 billion, is growing by roughly 83 million people every year. Feeding the planet while conserving the environment that underpins food production is one of our greatest challenges.

Water We Drink

The average person can go for three weeks without food, but only three days without water. Yet less than 1% of the fresh water on Earth is readily accessible for human use. We have to use what we have responsibly. And we must protect the natural places, like forests and wetlands, that store, filter and supply clean water for everyone on the planet.

Climate Stability

Carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases occur naturally, trapping heat in the atmosphere and keeping Earth’s climate stable. But human activities over the last few centuries have released greenhouse gases at levels that are destabilizing the climate. In 2013, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million — the highest they’ve been in 3 million years.

Jobs and Prosperity

Nature is the foundation of every economy on Earth. In the developing world, forest resources often account for 20-40% of a family’s annual income, and more than 60% of the world’s working poor are employed in the agricultural sector. In many communities, ecotourism is an important economic opportunity.

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EditSection Title:What are the issues?
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EditCircle color:fact--green    
EditCircle icon:icon-forest
EditResult value:50%
EditResult field:world's forests lost
EditText:Deforestation and degradation
Despite their immense value, nearly half of the world’s forests have been lost. When forests are cleared, they emit CO2 back into the atmosphere and put humanity on a dangerous collision course with the worst of climate change. Deforestation accounts for about 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans — that's comparable to the emissions from all of the cars and trucks on Earth combined.


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EditCircle icon:icon-water
EditResult value:40%
EditResult field:more demand than supply
EditText:Limited water supply
As the global population continues to grow, so does our demand for fresh water. Many water systems around the world are currently overtaxed, and some have already collapsed. According to one estimate, by 2030 our planet’s need for water will outstrip its reliable supply by 40%.


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EditCircle color:fact--gold    
EditCircle icon:icon-fish
EditResult value:$10 billion
EditResult field:market for illegal fishing
EditText: Illegal fishing
More than 11 million tons of fish caught each year, representing nearly 40% of the documented catch in some wild fisheries, come from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. That’s a market value of more than US$ 10 billion annually. In addition to harming fish populations, this creates unfair market competition for fishermen who follow sustainable practices.


EditCircle color:fact--brown    
EditCircle icon:icon-food
EditResult value:50%
EditResult field:land used for agriculture
EditText:Unsustainable agriculture
Almost 50% of the world’s land area is used for agriculture, and by 2050, global demand for food will double. Converting forests and other landscapes to farms to meet this demand will threaten the resources we all depend on for livelihoods and incomes. New technologies and more sustainable methods of farming and ranching can help us feed the world while also protecting Earth’s vital resources.
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CI's solutions

At CI, we’re proving that change is indeed possible. We work at every level, from remote villages to the offices of presidents and CEOs, to find innovative solutions to our planet’s most pressing problems. We work on the ground in 26 countries to protect the parts of nature we can’t live without — so that we don’t use up today what we’re going to need tomorrow. Our programs support livelihoods, improve farming and fishing practices, increase access to fresh water and help inform climate policies.

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EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/Mama%20Churi%205.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:Mama Churi, Tanzania.
EditCaption Title:Mama Churi — Using forest data to help feed her family
EditCaption Description:Mama Churi, a farmer in Tanzania, Africa, depends on nature for her home, her livelihood and to feed her family.
EditRead More Link:/Pages/video.aspx?VID=-8nca1HELGU&autoplay=true[Optional]


EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_63002536.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:Aerial view, Bora Bora. © Rodolphe Holler
EditCaption Title:Pacific Oceanscape
EditCaption Description:Some 23 Pacific island nations are working together to provide food and livelihoods for people in the region and around the world.
EditRead More Link:/where/pages/pacific-oceanscape.aspx[Optional]
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EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_54449211.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:Sophy poses with her daughter. © Conservation International/photo by Molly Bergen
EditCaption Title:Improving lives in Cambodia’s Tonle Sap
EditCaption Description:CI has been working with villagers like Sophy and Mao throughout the Tonle Sap to ensure the lake continues to support the people who depend on it.
EditRead More Link:/Pages/video.aspx?vid=1DpFxuwgVHs&autoplay=true[Optional]
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EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_63329646.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:Alto Mayo Protected Forest. © Thomas Muller
EditCaption Title:Implementing Forest Conservation in Peru’s Alto Mayo Region
EditCaption Description:CI is protecting and restoring the Alto Mayo Protected Forest thanks to landmark carbon financing by Disney. While safeguarding vital forests, we are also engaging communities in conservation and securing livelihoods.
EditRead More Link:/stories/alto-mayo-protected-forest/[Optional]
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EditImage Alt Text:A colorful coral reef with snorkelers swimming above in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. © Jeff Yonover
EditCaption Title:Ocean Health Index
EditCaption Description:CI is a founding partner of this first world standard that measures the capacity of our oceans to thrive and meet the needs of people.
EditRead More Link:/projects/Pages/Ocean-Health-Index.aspx[Optional]
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EditModule Title:What can you do?
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Edit Section Title:Reduce your energy consumption
Edit Section subtitle:Look for energy efficient appliances, like ENERGY STAR products, that are independently certified to save energy.
Edit Button link:/pages/what-you-can-do-tips.aspx#reduce-your-energy-consumption
Edit Button text:Learn more
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Edit Section Title:Shop smart
Edit Section subtitle:Look for the logos of the Forest Stewardship Council and the Marine Stewardship Council when shopping for wood and seafood products.
Edit Button link:/pages/what-you-can-do-tips.aspx#shop-smart
Edit Button text:Learn more
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EditNewsletter Title:Keep in touch
EditNewsletter Message:Get the latest updates on CI’s work delivered to your inbox.
EditNewsletter Confirmation Message Title:Thank you for joining
EditNewsletter Confirmation Message Text:We can't protect the planet without your support​
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EditDonate Title:Donate
EditDonate Message:​​​Donate to CI to protect all the parts of nature we can’t live without.​​
EditDonate Button Text:Give now
EditDonate Button Link:/donate
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More of Our Work Links

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First Image

EditImage Alt Text:Clouds rise through Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to the endangered mountain gorilla. © Benjamin Drummond

Second Image

EditTitle:Fresh Water
EditImage Alt Text:Udzungwa National Park provides the communities that surround it with clean drinking water. © Benjamin Drummond

Third Image

EditTitle:The Ocean
EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse
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