In 1992, world leaders came together in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to forge agreements to work collectively to address biodiversity loss, climate change, water scarcity and other urgent issues at the nexus of environment and development.
Much has been accomplished since then, but many bold goals have not been achieved and the scope and urgency of the environmental challenges we face have escalated. With global population having reached 7 billion and on track for 2 billion more by mid-century, the Conservancy believes that it is time to shift emphasis from the aspirational to the practical, from one-size-fits-all declarations to locally relevant commitments at national scales.
Our focus is on making the ideal of sustainable development real by:
- Convening public and private sector champions of the value of nature;
- Providing science-based solutions that deliver tangible results on the ground;
- Offering expertise in finance to develop innovative ways to fund the preservation of nature and the resources it provides to people.
Our Priority Engagements
“Leaders Valuing Nature”: Six Heads of State Commit to Investing in Nature
The Nature Conservancy, together with the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), has organized an event on June 21 to bring together six heads of state to announce respective national commitments related to land management, marine conservation, coastal adaptation to climate change, integrated river basin planning and biodiversity offsets, and relate them to achieving development outcomes such as food and water security and poverty reduction. This event will focus attention on how leaders will implement innovative natural solutions to achieve sustainable development. It will be co-hosted by H.E. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia, and H.E. Tillman Thomas, Prime Minister of Grenada (on behalf of the co-chairs of the Global Island Partnership, President Michel of Seychelles and President Toribiong of Palau).
Other confirmed participants include:
- Antigua and Barbuda: Prime Minister Winston Baldwin Spencer
- Australia: Prime Minister Julia Gillard
- Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos
- Seychelles: Vice President Danny Faure
- Nippon Foundation: Chairman Yohei Sasakawa
The three-year platform is designed to provide leaders with a way to work together, measure progress and inspire other leaders to follow their lead.
The New Business Imperative: 24 Major Companies Commit to Value Nature
Leading companies are leveraging strategies that incorporate the value of nature (ecosystem services) to drive business benefits—including cutting costs, reducing risks, enhancing brand and fueling growth. A compilation of new company commitments to value natural capital was launched in Rio by The Corporate Eco Forum and the Conservancy through a dynamic open-source e-report, The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital. Each of the 24 companies announced innovative new commitments that can help the private sector grasp the urgency and value of protecting and restoring vital ecosystems—like forests, fresh water and marine systems—while illustrating practical and achievable actions available to the private sector.
These companies, including Coca-Cola, The Dow Chemical Company, Kimberly-Clark, Marriott International, The Walt Disney Company, and Weyerhaeuser are positioning themselves as leaders in valuing nature as a necessary business strategy, and aiming to inspire other companies to take similar action.
The commitments and e-report were announced and featured at the Corporate Sustainability Forum and Business Day events (June 15-19, 2012).
Valuing Nature: The Nature Conservancy and Dow Collaboration
How might corporations do business differently if they knew the full value nature brings to their bottom line? The Nature Conservancy and The Dow Chemical Company are trying to answer this question through a breakthrough collaboration forged in 2011. The goal—to build a roadmap for how companies assess, incorporate and invest in nature and the benefits it provides—like fresh water, clean air and flood protection. Together the organizations are applying scientific knowledge and experience to develop methods and tools by examining how Dow’s operations impact and depend on nature. Over the course of five years, they will work together at three pilot sites to validate and test methods and models that may then be used to inform more sustainable business decisions at Dow—and influence how other companies can incorporate the value of nature into their decision-making, and increase investment in protecting the planet’s natural systems and the services they provide.
The Conservancy is also supporting the Equator Initiative prize ceremony, which will recognize grassroots groups – including some Conservancy partners – who are making a meaningful difference for nature and for people who rely most closely on it. The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. Every two years the Equator Initiative shines the spotlight on these communities on an international stage to scale up their impact and, in a way, empower them. This year, 25 outstanding local initiatives that have improved livelihoods while conserving biodiversity and at the same time have achieved sustainable development will be honored.
Event details: Friday evening, June 20, Vivo Rio, located in the Museu de Arte Maderna (MAM)
Additional Conservancy Priorities
Global Oceans Forum
Saturday, June 16, 10:00-18:30
Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security
Thursday, June 21, 19:00-20:30