Conservation International

Conservation International
Conservation International
Conservation International logo.png
Founder(s) Spencer Beebe, Peter Seligmann
Founded 1987
Key people Peter A. Seligmann, Chairman of the board and chief executive officer; Rob Walton, chairman of the executive committee; Russell A. Mittermeier, president; Niels Crone, chief operating officer
Focus Save species, Conserve landscapes and seascapes, Empower local communities, Promote sustainability[citation needed]
Revenue 2009: $ 116,078,000; 2008: $ 232,933,000 [1]
Employees 900

Conservation International (CI) is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, which seeks to ensure the health of humanity by protecting Earth's ecosystems and biodiversity[2]. CI’s work focuses on six key initiatives that affect human well-being: climate, food security, freshwater security, health, cultural services and species contribution. The group is also known for its partnerships with local non-governmental organizations and indigenous peoples.

CI was founded in 1987 by Spencer Beebe and Peter Seligmann and now has a staff of more than 900 employees. Its work occurs in more than 45 countries, primarily in developing countries in Africa and Madagascar, Asia-Pacific, and the Central and South American rainforests.


Mission statement

Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership, and field demonstration, Conservation International empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature for the well-being of humanity.


Primatologist, herpetologist and wildlife conservationist Russell A. Mittermeier has served as Conservation International's president since 1989. Peter Seligmann is chairman and CEO.

Its board of directors includes names such as Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, actor Harrison Ford, Queen Noor of Jordan, former Starbucks CEO Orin Smith, author Dr. Jared Diamond, President of Botswana Ian Khama, Rob Walton of Wal-Mart, and HRH Prince Charles.

Board of Directors


  • Peter A. Seligmann, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer - Conservation International
  • Rob Walton, Chairman of the Board, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Bentonville, Arkansas


  • Mark L. Feldman, President and Chief Executive Officer, L&L Manufacturing Company, Los Angeles, California
  • Harrison Ford, Actor, Los Angeles, California
  • Nicholas J. Pritzker, Chairman Global Development Network Hyatt Hotels, Chicago, Illinois

Board members

  • Roger Altman, Founder and Chairman, Evercore Partners, New York, New York
  • Henry H. Arnhold, Chairman of the Board, Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder, New York, New York
  • Skip Brittenham, Senior Partner, Ziffren Brittenham LLP, Los Angeles, California
  • Wes Bush, President and CEO, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Los Angeles, California
  • Paula Hannaway Crown, Principal, Henry Crown and Company, Chicago, Illinois
  • Jared Diamond, Ph.D., Professor, Geography and Physiology, University of California, Los Angeles California
  • David Ellison, President, Skydance Productions, Santa Monica, California
  • André Esteves, CEO, Banco BTG Pactual S/A, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Robert J. Fisher, Director, Gap, Inc., San Francisco, California
  • Ann Friedman, Teacher, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Jeff Gale, Gale Force Studios, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Judson Green, Vice Chairman, NAVTEQ Corporation, Chicago, Illinois
  • Richard Haass, Ph.D., President, Council on Foreign Relations, New York, New York
  • Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and Board Chair, College Track, Palo Alto, California
  • H. Fisk Johnson, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, S.C. Johnson & Sons, Inc.
  • Racine, Wisconsin, The Honorable Alexander Karsner, CEO and Founder, Manifest Energy, LLC, Washington, District of Columbia
  • President S.K. Ian Khama, Republic of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
  • Heidi Miller, President of International JPMorgan Chase, New York, New York
  • Kris Moore, Conservationist, Los Altos Hills, California
  • Gordon Moore, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Intel Corporation, Woodside, California
  • Claire Perry, Ph.D., Guest Curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Stewart A. Resnick, Chairman of the Board, Roll International Corporation, Los Angeles, California
  • Story Clark Resor, Consultant, Wilson, Wyoming
  • Jean-Michel Severino, Chair, French Partnership for Water, Paris, France
  • Kenneth F. Siebel, Chairman of the Board, Private Wealth Partners, LLC, Larkspur, California
  • Orin Smith, Chief Executive Officer (retired), Starbucks Coffee Company, Seattle, Washington
  • John F. Swift, Conservationist, Cayucos, California
  • Dr. Enki Tan, Executive Director, GITI Group, Singapore, Singapore
  • Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Executive Director Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy and Research Education), Baguio, Philippines
  • Ray R. Thurston, Retired CEO, UPS Logistics Group, Jackson, Wyoming
  • Byron Trott, Managing Partner, BDT Capital Partners, Chicago, Illinois
  • Megaron Txucarramae, Kayapó Grand Chief and Director, Colider Regional FUNAI Administration, Colider, Brazil
  • William Wrigley, Jr., Wrigley Management Inc., Chicago, Illinois, Tamsen Ann Ziff, Ziff Brothers Investments, New York, New York



Within global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, CI’s niche focuses on the role that intact natural ecosystems can play in lessening climate change impacts and helping communities and species adapt to its effects that are already set in motion. The organization’s current focus is slowing the destruction of the world’s tropical forests, which is a key contributor to climate change. CI is currently working with governments and communities in tropical countries like Madagascar, Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo to establish field demonstration sites for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, “plus” conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks), which give people financial incentives to keep their forests standing. Representatives from CI’s climate team attend major climate change conferences (such as the UNFCCC meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009) to advise national governments and advocate for adequate funding for ecosystem protection in international climate change legislation.


CI’s food security work aims to restore and maintain natural ecosystems that underpin food systems, from fisheries to subsistence farms to coffee plantations. CI’s Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network is expanding its role in the agricultural sector, documenting biodiversity and ecosystem trends in more than 10 tropical sites around the world and making recommendations for sustainable agriculture and other kinds of development.

Fresh Water

In order to sustain freshwater ecosystems and the benefits they provide for humans and species worldwide, CI is working with partners to set global, science-based priorities for freshwater conservation, implement management and protection of key resources to benefit both human communities and freshwater biodiversity, and promote innovative policies for governments and markets.

Recognizing the benefits that intact ecosystems have for human health– from the role of biodiversity in the search for disease cures to the provision of healthy resources like food and fresh water – CI is working to communicate this knowledge to the policy makers, industries and people who can work in partnership with CI to maintain wild landscapes essential to human health.

Cultural services

CI’s Indigenous and Traditional Peoples Program helps groups like the Wai Wai people of Guyana, Kayapó in Brazil gain tenure of their land and representation in local development decisions. The 2009 establishment of the Indigenous Advisory Group (IAG) created a forum where indigenous representatives from six countries can exchange ideas, particularly around the issue of climate change.


Species conservation is a key element of CI’s work – not only for their value as the building blocks of healthy natural ecosystems, but also for the as-yet-unknown benefits that these species may have for humanity, such as aiding in the development of medicines to fight life-threatening diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. CI is a founding member of the Alliance for Global Conservation, a multi-organizational partnership dedicated to supporting the involvement of the United States in international actions to curb the extinction crisis.

By conducting Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) surveys in remote and vulnerable ecosystems around the world, over the years CI and its partners have discovered and documented hundreds of species new to science. Many of these discoveries have led to the establishment of new protected areas and other enhanced conservation efforts for local species.

In a 2005 RAP survey, scientists reported they had discovered 52 new species (including 24 new types of fish). Among these, they found (and photographed) a bottom-dweller shark that walks on its fins as well as a praying mantis-like shrimp, while exploring a region of water near Indonesia's Papua province (known as the Bird's Head Seascape or Asia's Coral Triangle).

In December 2005, as part of the organization's Rapid Assessment Program (RAP), scientists from Conservation International surveyed a previously unexplored area of the Foja Mountains in Papua, Indonesia. They found 20 previously unknown frog species, four new butterflies, five new palms and a new species of honeyeater bird. The researchers also found the golden-mantled Tree-kangaroo—a species not previously known to live in Indonesia, and hunted nearly to extinction elsewhere—and took the first photographs of Berlepsch's six-wired bird of paradise. The area was so isolated that many of the animals they found had no fear of humans. Conservation International's findings were widely reported throughout the world in February 2006 including Nightline, The NBC Nightly News, and the New York Times.


CI works closely with state and national governments around the world to develop new green economic development models which emphasize economic growth through conservation and sustainable management rather than destruction.

CI’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business (CELB) works with corporations – including Starbucks, Walmart, Dell and Office Depot – to help them green their supply chains and reduce their environmental footprint.

Non-governmental Organizations
CI regularly partners with other conservation and development-centered organizations like the Earth Economics, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, IUCN and thousands of others around the world. CI also serves as a lead member of multiple funds designed to expand protected areas and protect species, including the Global Conservation Fund (GCF) and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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