The world’s need for food, water, energy and minerals is growing. These demands combined with population growth, unchecked development and climate change are putting even more pressure on the planet. To meet our future needs, we have to make smarter decisions now about how we protect, manage, and develop our lands and waters.
Did you know that people have already altered nearly half of the lands on earth? And, over the next ten years trillions of dollars will be invested in energy, mining, and infrastructure development around the world—much of it will take place in undeveloped natural areas like our mountains, deserts, plains, oceans and rivers.
Decisions are being made today that could change the way we develop these important natural areas, and the Nature Conservancy has developed the science to enable governments, companies, and communities to use and share space, protect natural areas, improve resource management, and invest more wisely for a sustainable future.
Grounded in the Conservancy’s scientific expertise, Development by Design (DbD) provides a holistic view of how future development could affect our natural systems and offers solutions for ensuring their health over the long-term for the people and precious wildlife that depend upon them.
Latest News & Features
Our newest Development by Design study assesses potential energy development that could affect water quality for 22 million people and 1.2 million of acres of forests.
Learn more about our local projects in the United States, Mongolia, Australia, and Latin America, and our efforts to expand globally.
Review our analysis and read peer-reviewed papers about how we are putting our science to the test.
The Nature Conservancy thinks our Development by Design approach can help development be an engine for economic growth and support the healthy natural systems we all depend upon.
We are working with governments and companies to achieve significant conservation gains by applying Development by Design on a global scale.
Here's a look at The Nature Conservancy's smart development work in Mongolia from a child's perspective—featuring stuffed toy animals and a Lego bulldozer!