Safeguarding fragile resources

From the Amazon to the Himalayas, many of the world’s richest terrains are under constant threat by growing global and regional forces. To create real and lasting change, we focus on developing best practices for resource extraction and development, and on targeting highly strategic areas for protection.

  • Marañon valley, Peru. In the highlands of southern Peru, the Amazon River begins in melt water trickling from glaciers draped on high Andean Peaks, cascading downward through the cloud forests, into the rivers Marañón and Urubamba that eventually flow together at Iquitos in eastern Peru. Enrique Ortiz

  • Wild yak roam in the Chang Tang region of the Tibetan Plateau. The pristine area is one of the last great wild landscapes in the world. It's also the second largest protected area on Earth, covering approximately 115,000 square miles. WCS

  • Rain falls in Nuevo Pacasmayo, located on the left bank of the Tapiche River in Peru. There are many indigenous and non-indigenous settlements currently lacking legal title to their territory and therefore limited in the ability to properly and sustainably manage their natural resources. CEDIA

  • "El Cono" reaches up to the sky in the Sierra del Divisor region in Peru's Amazon. The cone formation is characteristic of the region's unique geology - it's the only mountain chain in the lowlands of the Amazon rainforest. SPDA

  • Illegal wildlife trade is a high threat to rhinos, who are poached for their skin and tusks. Wildlife Conservation Nepal works with communities buffering Chitwan National Park to help them value, protect, and conserve threatened species. Jiqiang Zhang

Develop best practice models

The challenge:

Road-building is a major cause of tropical deforestation, opening up forests to a host of ills, including land invasions, timber cutting and burning, and unregulated resource extraction.

The solutions:

Engage the private sector and advocate for sustainable, careful, planned development. Include civil society, indigenous communities, and NGOs to identify negative and positive aspects of development plans, creating improvements to existing projects and ones to come in the future.

Support creation of protected landscapes

The challenge:

Rapid climate change is a global, chronic, and long-term threat to the world’s biodiversity. Areas of vital refuge for many species are being destroyed. No matter what we do about greenhouse gas emissions in the future, climate change is already well underway and its impacts will continue to play out for at least the next half-century.

The solutions:

Focus conservation efforts on “climate change refugia”—places that are rich not only in biodiversity, but also in landscape diversity within relatively small areas. The proximity of many different microclimates, usually along altitudinal gradients, means that a broad range of plant and animal species may be able to migrate to more suitable habitat even within the relatively rapid timeframes of global climate change. Working in these small contained areas allows partners to build protection from all fronts: through legal recognition, by strengthening the capacity of managing institutions, and by working with the communities that draw their livelihoods from the land.

Promote open dialogue

The challenge:

Institutions create and enforce decisions that promote global commerce and drive growth. These decisions can bring well-established negative side effects such as resource degradation, greenhouse gas pollution, and marginalization of communities.

The solutions:

Work with (instead of against) institutions to help solve environmental and social problems. Advocate for groups who develop sustainable solutions to these issues. Communicate solutions to key players who can create positive change within institutions.

back to top