Conservation International

Conservation International
Founded 1987
Founder Spencer Beebe and Peter Seligmann
Focus Climate change, freshwater security, health, food security, biodiversity, cultural services
Product Global Conservation Fund
Key people
Peter A. Seligmann (Chairman & CEO)
Rob Walton (Executive Committee Chairman)
Jennifer Morris (Chief Operating Officer)
FY 2014: $164.8 million [1]

Conservation International (CI) is an American nonprofit environmental organization headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Its goal is to protect nature as a source of food, fresh water, livelihoods and a stable climate.[2]

CI's work focuses on science, policy, and partnership with businesses and communities. The organization employs more than 1,000 people and works with 2,000+ partners in more than 30 countries.[3] CI has helped establish 1,200 protected areas across 78 countries and protected more than 730 million hectares of land, marine and coastal areas (with annual Ocean Health Index).[4]


Conservation International was founded in 1987 with the aim of analyzing the problems most dangerous or harmful to nature and building a foundation dedicated to solving these issues on a global scale. This model:-

In CI's first year, the organization purchased a portion of Bolivia's foreign debt. The money was then redirected to support conservation in the Beni Biosphere Reserve. Since this first-ever debt-for-nature swap, more than $1 billion of similar deals have been made around the world.[5]

In 1989, CI formally committed to the protection of biodiversity hotspots, ultimately identifying 34 such hotspots around the world and contributing to their protection. The model of protecting hotspots became a key way for organizations to do conservation work.[6]

Growth and mission shift

In the subsequent two decades, CI expanded its work, with a stronger focus on science, corporate partnership, conservation funding, indigenous peoples, government, and marine conservation, among other things.[7]

The organization's leadership grew to believe that CI's focus on biodiversity conservation was inadequate to protect nature and those who depended on it. CI updated its mission in 2008 to focus explicitly on the connections between human well-being and natural ecosystems.

As of FY2014, CI's expenses totaled more than US $135.3 million.[8]

CI receives high ratings from philanthropic watchdog organizations, with an A rating from Charity Watch.[9] Charity Navigator awarded CI a score of 92.28 out of 100 for accountability and transparency.[10]

Approach to conservation

The foundation of CI's work is "science, partnership and field demonstration." The organization has scientists, policy workers and other conservationists on the ground in more than 30 countries. It also relies heavily on thousands of local partners.[8]

CI works with governments, universities, NGOs and the private sector with the aim of replicating these successes on a larger scale. By showing how conservation can work at all scales, CI aims to make the protection of nature a key consideration in economic development decisions around the world.[11] CI supported 23 Pacific Island nations and territories in the formation of the Pacific Oceanscape, a management plan for the conservation of nearly 24 million square miles of sea from Hawaii to New Zealand. In addition to the sustainable management of ocean resources, the agreement includes the world's largest marine protected areas and sanctuaries for whales, dolphins, turtles and sharks.[12]

The organization has been active in United Nations discussions on issues such as climate change[13] and biodiversity,[14] and its scientists present at international conferences and workshops. Its United States policy work currently highlights "a direct connection between international conservation and America's economic and national security interests."[15]

A few years after its founding, CI began working with McDonald's to implement sustainable agriculture and conservation projects in Central America.[16] The organization expanded its commitment to working with the business sector in 2000, when it created the Center for Environmental Leadership in Business with support from the Ford Motor Company.[17]


CI has been criticized for links to companies with a poor environmental record such as BP, Cargill, Chevron, Monsanto and Shell and for allegedly offering greenwashing services.[18][19]

A 2008 article in The Nation claimed that the organization had attracted $6 million for marine conservation in Papua New Guinea, but that the funds were used for "little more than plush offices and first class travel."[20]

In 2011, Conservation International was targeted by a group of reporters from Don't Panic TV who posed as an American arms company and asked if the charity could "raise [their] green profile." Options outlined by the representative of Conservation International (CI) included assisting with the arms company's green PR efforts, membership of a business forum in return for a fee, and sponsorship packages where the arms company could potentially invest money in return for being associated with conservation activities. Conservation International agreed to help the arms company find an "endangered species mascot." Film footage shows the Conservation International employee suggesting a vulture North African birds of prey as a possible endangered species mascot for the arms company.[21][22] CI contends that these recordings were heavily edited to remove elements that would have cast CI in a more favorable light, while using other parts of the video out of context to paint an inaccurate and incomplete picture of CI's work with the private sector.[23]

In March 2012 The Phnom Penh Post reported that forest rangers appointed by Conservation International had accepted bribes, and that a CI employee who brought this to the attention of CI was fired.[24]

In May and June 2013, Survival International reported that an indigenous Bushman tribe in Botswana was threatened with eviction from their ancestral land in order to create a wildlife corridor[25] known as the Western Kgalagadi Conservation Corridor.[26] A Botswana government representative denied this.[27] A May press release from CI said, "Contrary to recent reports, Conservation International (CI) has not been involved in the implementation of conservation corridors in Botswana since 2011", and asserted that CI had always supported the San Bushmen and their rights.[28]



  1. "2014 Annual Report" (PDF). Conservation International. Retrieved 2016-03-21.
  2. "About Us". Conservation International. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  3. "CI's Global Mission". Gotham Magazine. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  4. "About". CI. Retrieved 2016-03-21.
  5.  This article incorporates public domain material from the Congressional Research Service document "Debt-for-Nature Initiatives and the Tropical Forest Conservation Act: Status and Implementation" by Pervaze A. Sheikh (retrieved on 2012-02-02).
  6. Roach, John. "Conservationists Name Nine New "Biodiversity Hotspots"". National Geographic. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  7. "Conservation International Celebrates 25 Years of Groundbreaking Accomplishments". Ecowatch. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  8. 1 2 "Conservation International Annual Report 2014" (PDF). Conservation International. Retrieved 2016-03-21.
  9. "Conservation International". Charity Watch. Retrieved 2015-09-12.
  10. "Conservation International". Charity Navigator. Retrieved 2016-03-21.
  11. "Conservation International: Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation". Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  12. "IUCN Member News: Pacific Island Leaders Unite". IUCN. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  13. Biello, David. "Cancun Talks Yield Climate Compromise". Scientific American. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  14. Walsh, Bryan (2010-10-29). "Wildlife: Nations Agree on a Historic Deal for Biodiversity in Nagoya". Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  15. "United States Government Policy". Conservation International. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  16. "Corporate Partnership -- McDonald's". Conservation International. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  17. Snell, Marilyn Berlin (November–December 2001). "Lay of the Land". Sierra. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  18. Conservation International 'agreed to greenwash arms company'. The Ecologist. Retrieved on 2013-08-24.
  19. The Wrong Kind of Green. The Nation (2010-03-04). Retrieved on 2013-08-24.
  20. The Wrong Path to Conservation | International. The Investigative Fund. Retrieved on 2013-08-24.
  21. Conservation International 'agreed to greenwash arms company'
  22. Conservation International Duped By Militant Greenwash Pitch
  23. Seligmann, Peter (2011-05-19). "Partnerships for the Planet: Why We Must Engage Corporations". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
  24. "Blind eye to forest's plight", Phnom Penh Post 26 March 2012
  25. Bushmen face imminent eviction for ‘wildlife corridor’. Survival International. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  26. "Conservation Corridors in South-western Botswana" (PDF). Conservation International. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  27. "Botswana denies plans to 'evict' Bushmen". 2013-05-27. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  28. "Statement of Conservation International on Alleged Relocations of San People in Botswana". Conservation International. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  29. 1 2 3 4 5
  30. André Esteves
  31. Russell Mittermeier

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/22/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.