​Arlington, Va. (February 14, 2018) – The following is a statement by Dr. M. Sanjayan, Conservation International's CEO, on the President's FY2019 Budget Request, which would dramatically reduce funding for…
​Arlington, Va. (February 14, 2018) – The following is a statement by Dr. M. Sanjayan, Conservation International’s CEO, on the President’s FY2019 Budget Request, which would dramatically reduce funding for cost-effective U.S. foreign assistance.

“There is a direct connection between the protection of nature’s assets and America’s economic and national security interests. The depletion of natural resources such as food and fresh water contributes to instability, conflict, migration, radicalization, and in the worst case, failed states.

“The risks to America’s national and economic security from resource scarcity and wildlife crime are increasingly clear. Strategic investments in international conservation promote effective foreign policy and leverage public-private partnerships that can mitigate the drivers of violent extremism and transnational organized crime. As nature’s ability to provide essential services becomes further tested, continued U.S. leadership on international conservation funding is essential. 

“Congress has consistently expressed strong bipartisan support for international conservation. Conservation International welcomes the opportunity to work with Congress and the Administration on next steps in the FY2019 appropriations process to sustain strategic international conservation investments that promote U.S. jobs and prosperity, and help to ensure the safety and security of the American people.”

About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about CI and its groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign, and follow Conservation International’s work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

​Arlington, Va. (February 12, 2018) – A study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that protected areas that are deforested are more likely…
​Arlington, Va. (February 12, 2018) – A study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that protected areas that are deforested are more likely to subsequently lose legal protections.

The study examined 62 protected areas in Rondônia, Brazil, home to immense stretches of the Amazon, and found that when protected lands are deforested, the government often later reduced or wholly eliminated an area’s legal protections.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” says Mike Mascia, Senior Director, Social Sciences at Conservation International and co-author of the study. “If a protected area has suffered from deforestation, then it becomes vulnerable to loss of legal protections. And if a government scales back some or all legal protections, then the remaining forest may be even more vulnerable to the forces that led to deforestation in the first place.”

Scientists refer to these legal changes as PADDD, which stands for protected area downgrading, downsizing or degazettement, says Mascia.  “A very fresh and well-known example is what happening to Bear’s Ears National Monument, in Utah. President Trump reduced the size of Bear’s Ears – that’s PADDD. Now that area is open for mining.”

“The government’s support for economic development in Rondônia – and the subsequent deforestation in Rondonian protected areas –  is emblematic of the challenges facing protected areas around the world,” said Rodrigo Medeiros, VP of Conservation International Brazil. “There’s a misconception that these areas aren’t bringing any benefits to society. Protected areas provide clean air, carbon storage, freshwater — the benefits are innumerable. It’s critical that governments factor in the ecological importance of protected areas and enforce protections for conservation outcomes.”

One of the highlights of the study is that effective governance of protected areas — making sure they don’t get deforested in the first place — may create a virtuous cycle, by helping to ensure legal protections endure over the long term and, thus, sustain the very forests that merit protection.

About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about CI and its groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign, and follow Conservation International’s work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

​Arlington, Va. (February 12, 2018) – A study​ published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that protected areas that are deforested are more likely…
​Arlington, Va. (February 12, 2018) – A study​ published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that protected areas that are deforested are more likely to subsequently lose legal protections.

The study examined 62 protected areas in Rondônia, Brazil, home to immense stretches of the Amazon, and found that when protected lands are deforested, the government often later reduced or wholly eliminated an area’s legal protections.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” says Mike Mascia, Senior Director, Social Sciences at Conservation International and co-author of the study. “If a protected area has suffered from deforestation, then it becomes vulnerable to loss of legal protections. And if a government scales back some or all legal protections, then the remaining forest may be even more vulnerable to the forces that led to deforestation in the first place.”

Scientists refer to these legal changes as PADDD, which stands for protected area downgrading, downsizing or degazettement, says Mascia.  “A very fresh and well-known example is what happening to Bear’s Ears National Monument, in Utah. President Trump reduced the size of Bear’s Ears – that’s PADDD. Now that area is open for mining.”

“The government’s support for economic development in Rondônia – and the subsequent deforestation in Rondonian protected areas –  is emblematic of the challenges facing protected areas around the world,”said Rodrigo Medeiros, VP of Conservation International Brazil. “There’s a misconception that these areas aren’t bringing any benefits to society. Protected areas provide clean air, carbon storage, freshwater — the benefits are innumerable. It’s critical that governments factor in the ecological importance of protected areas and enforce protections for conservation outcomes.”

One of the highlights of the study is that effective governance of protected areas — making sure they don’t get deforested in the first place — may create a virtuous cycle, by helping to ensure legal protections endure over the long term and, thus, sustain the very forests that merit protection.

About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about CI and its groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign, and follow Conservation International’s work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

 

Arlington, Va. (January 12, 2018) – Conservation International congratulates the people and the government of Peru on the establishment of the Yaguas National Park. The new park covers 868,927 hectares…

Arlington, Va. (January 12, 2018) – Conservation International congratulates the people and the government of Peru on the establishment of the Yaguas National Park. The new park covers 868,927 hectares of Amazon forest, an area around the size of Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. 

Through partnerships with the Instituto del Bien Común (IBC), Zoological Society of Frankfurt (ZSC) and the Peruvian National Protected Area Services (SERNANP), Conservation International has supported efforts to monitor and protect this area of the Peruvian Amazonia.

“Conservation International deeply appreciates the clear vision and tenacious efforts of all the organizations involved in the creation of Yaguas National Park,” said Luis Espinel, Vice President of CI-Peru. “The new park will conserve immense biodiversity, and help preserve the health and well-being of the communities who call this landscape home.”

For 30 years, several communities living in the Loreto region near Yaguas, including six indigenous tribes and three indigenous advocacy organizations, have worked to achieve park status for this area, which they consider sacred and fundamental to their well-being.

The establishment of Yaguas National Park will protect a vast and intact Amazonian region, containing ecosystems, species and populations very different from those represented in other Peruvian protected areas. The park, for example, contains the largest diversity of freshwater fish in Peru, with an estimated 550 species.

More information about Conservation International’s work in the Peruvian Amazonia can be found on its blog, Human Nature.

About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about CI and its groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign, and follow Conservation International’s work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

​Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (December 18, 2017) – Today, Conservation International and partner Eco-Custodian Advocates announced the successful tagging of two endangered species of sea turtles, the hawksbill and green sea…
​Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (December 18, 2017) – Today, Conservation International and partner Eco-Custodian Advocates announced the successful tagging of two endangered species of sea turtles, the hawksbill and green sea turtles, with satellite-tracking devices. The tagging, which took place from December 4 through December 15, will allow for a deeper understanding of the movements of one of the world’s oldest creatures and marks the first effort of its kind in Papua New Guinea. It will play a key role in the conservation of endangered sea turtles in the region.

The 12-day tagging expedition took place across three islands in the Ware region of Milne Bay, Kasamalamalawe, Kololona and Manpina in Papua New Guinea. Scientists tagged three critically endangered hawksbill turtles and four endangered green sea turtles with satellite-tracking devices. Thirty turtles also received flipper tags.

Tissue samples were gathered from all turtles to conduct genetic analysis. The information gathered on population numbers, movements, feeding behavior and nesting and hatching locations will be used to develop a long-term conservation strategy and inform community and government officials.

Subsistence hunting of sea turtles and the devastating impacts of climate change have created an urgent need for conservation efforts of the species and sustainable management of marine resources in the region. The Conservation International and Eco-Custodian Advocates expedition marks a substantial advancement in research and conservation efforts.

“These islands offer a perfect snapshot of what we’re seeing all around the world, the decline of sea turtles in the face of the impacts of climate change and human threats on our oceans. Sea turtles are great indicators of the health of an ecosystem, so the information gathered from these tags will not only help with improving sea turtle conservation, but ecosystem health as well,” says Conservation International Coral Triangle Program Director Niquole Esters.

“PNG’s sea turtles are being harvested for their meat, eggs and shells. From a scientific perspective, very little is known about PNG’s turtles and the only satellite tracking work to date has focused on leatherbacks. It is crucial we obtain baseline information on population-level migratory pathways and genetic stocks, to inform future conservation efforts,” said Geoffrey Gearheart, Ph.D., a marine biologist and oceanographer at Tellus4D Geoimaging.

“We’ve been in slow-motion for so long in gaining information about sea turtles using metal flipper tags, and this represents a paradigm shift by offering real-time information so that communities and the government can take steps to conserve and manage sea turtles,” said David Mitchell, Director of Eco-Custodian Advocates.

The tagging initiative is a collaboration between Conservation International, Eco-Custodian Advocates, the landowners of Ware Island, the Milne Bay Government and support from the Government of Australia. The program integrates traditional community knowledge and practices, science-based conservation and management practices while achieving the goal of reinforcing community environmental stewardship through the development of sea turtle conservation efforts.

About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about CI and its groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign, and follow Conservation International’s work on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

About Eco Custodian Advocates
Eco Custodian Advocates aims that each of the peoples of PNG have a belonging to place, as custodians of the environment and with an appreciation of their cultural ties to it. Eco Custodian Advocates focuses its conservation efforts on the Milne Bay Province. The area is extremely susceptible to pressures from a rapidly increasing population, the erosion of customary knowledge, destructive resource extraction, climate change and most importantly, a lack of conservation awareness and ecological knowledge. Eco Custodian Advocates strives to empower Papua New Guinean communities to sustainably manage their important and stunning ecosystems and natural assets, which support the livelihoods of those relying on their delicate environment for subsistence living. Learn more about Eco-Custodian Advocates

​Arlington, Va.  (December 20, 2017) – Conservation International and Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) today announced a series of collaborative efforts to address one of the most pressing and critical challenges…
​Arlington, Va.  (December 20, 2017) – Conservation International and Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) today announced a series of collaborative efforts to address one of the most pressing and critical challenges of our time – the unprecedented loss of biodiversity and ecosystems upon which livelihoods and sustainable development depend.

Dr. Russell Mittermeier, the former President and most recently Executive Vice-Chair of Conservation International, will guide the collaboration as the new Chief Conservation Officer for Global Wildlife Conservation.

“The problems we face today of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation are not ones that any organization can solve alone,” said Jennifer Morris, President of Conservation International. “By pooling efforts in science, technology, and communications, we will amplify our impact in some of the most biodiverse regions across the globe.”

“The complex global conservation challenges that both organizations are working to resolve require partnerships with extensive networks and expertise,” said Dr. Mittermeier. “At GWC, we’re looking forward to leveraging this collaborative energy to make an even bigger impact for wildlife and wildlands.”

The new, collaborative relationship between Conservation International and Global Wildlife Conservation will focus on the following areas:

  1. ​​Surveys, assessments, research and conservation projects in key protected areas including Amazonia, Guiana Shield, West Papua and Madagascar.
  2. Initiatives to conserve wildlife, assess the threatened status of species and fight illegal wildlife trafficking.
  3. The design, development and application of technology for biodiversity and ecosystem conservation, including the use of artificial intelligence.​
  4. Collaborative communications campaigns concerning wildlands and protected areas, wildlife conservation and trafficking. 
About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about CI and its groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign, and follow Conservation International’s work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Global Wildlife Conservation
GWC conserves the diversity of life on Earth by safeguarding wildlands, protecting wildlife and supporting guardians. We maximize our impact through scientific research, biodiversity exploration, habitat conservation, protected area management, wildlife crime prevention, endangered species recovery, and conservation leadership cultivation. Learn more at https://globalwildlife.org.

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (December 18, 2017) – Today, Conservation International and partner Eco-Custodian Advocates announced the successful tagging of two endangered species of sea turtles, the hawksbill and…

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (December 18, 2017) – Today, Conservation International and partner Eco-Custodian Advocates announced the successful tagging of two endangered species of sea turtles, the hawksbill and green sea turtles, with satellite-tracking devices. The tagging, which took place from December 4 through December 15, will allow for a deeper understanding of the movements of one of the world’s oldest creatures and marks the first effort of its kind in Papua New Guinea. It will play a key role in the conservation of endangered sea turtles in the region.

The 12-day tagging expedition took place across three islands in the Ware region of Milne Bay, Kasamalamalawe, Kololona and Manpina in Papua New Guinea. Scientists tagged three critically endangered hawksbill turtles and four endangered green sea turtles with satellite-tracking devices. Thirty turtles also received flipper tags.

Tissue samples were gathered from all turtles to conduct genetic analysis. The information gathered on population numbers, movements, feeding behavior and nesting and hatching locations will be used to develop a long-term conservation strategy and inform community and government officials.

Subsistence hunting of sea turtles and the devastating impacts of climate change have created an urgent need for conservation efforts of the species and sustainable management of marine resources in the region. The Conservation International and Eco-Custodian Advocates expedition marks a substantial advancement in research and conservation efforts.

“These islands offer a perfect snapshot of what we’re seeing all around the world, the decline of sea turtles in the face of the impacts of climate change and human threats on our oceans. Sea turtles are great indicators of the health of an ecosystem, so the information gathered from these tags will not only help with improving sea turtle conservation, but ecosystem health as well,” says Conservation International Coral Triangle Program Director Niquole Esters.

“PNG’s sea turtles are being harvested for their meat, eggs and shells. From a scientific perspective, very little is known about PNG’s turtles and the only satellite tracking work to date has focused on leatherbacks. It is crucial we obtain baseline information on population-level migratory pathways and genetic stocks, to inform future conservation efforts,” said Geoffrey Gearheart, Ph.D., a marine biologist and oceanographer at Tellus4D Geoimaging.

“We’ve been in slow-motion for so long in gaining information about sea turtles using metal flipper tags, and this represents a paradigm shift by offering real-time information so that communities and the government can take steps to conserve and manage sea turtles,” said David Mitchell, Director of Eco-Custodian Advocates.

The tagging initiative is a collaboration between Conservation International, Eco-Custodian Advocates, the landowners of Ware Island, the Milne Bay Government and support from the Government of Australia. The program integrates traditional community knowledge and practices, science-based conservation and management practices while achieving the goal of reinforcing community environmental stewardship through the development of sea turtle conservation efforts.

About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about CI and its groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign, and follow Conservation International’s work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Eco Custodian Advocates
Eco Custodian Advocates aims that each of the peoples of PNG have a belonging to place, as custodians of the environment and with an appreciation of their cultural ties to it. Eco Custodian Advocates focuses its conservation efforts on the Milne Bay Province. The area is extremely susceptible to pressures from a rapidly increasing population, the erosion of customary knowledge, destructive resource extraction, climate change and most importantly, a lack of conservation awareness and ecological knowledge. Eco Custodian Advocates strives to empower Papua New Guinean communities to sustainably manage their important and stunning ecosystems and natural assets, which support the livelihoods of those relying on their delicate environment for subsistence living. Learn more about Eco-Custodian Advocates.

​Bogotá, Colombia (December 18, 2017) – Conservation International and Fondo Acción today announced the La Minga (Everyone Together) Fund, a conservation trust fund dedicated to community-driven conservation on Colombia’s Pacific…
​Bogotá, Colombia (December 18, 2017) – Conservation International and Fondo Acción today announced the La Minga (Everyone Together) Fund, a conservation trust fund dedicated to community-driven conservation on Colombia’s Pacific Coast, where two networks of protected areas in the Bahía Málaga and Northern Chocó regions cover an area of pristine coastline larger than Belgium. 

This land is home to over 30,000 people of primarily Afro-Colombian descent, as well as 1,400 species, including 80 percent of the region’s humpback whale breeding grounds, and some of the country’s most intact mangrove forests.

The La Minga Fund will initially focus on three regional protected areas: La Sierpe Regional Natural Park, La Plata Regional Integrated Management District and Golfo de Tribugá-Cabo Corrientes Regional Integrated Management District. 
Conservation International and Fondo Acción have actively supported and contributed to the creation, development and strengthening of these protected areas over the last decade. To help secure ongoing protection of these invaluable natural resources, CI and Fondo Acción worked with the following to develop the La Minga Fund: Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development; the regional environmental authorities of Codechocó and CVC; Asocars; and the Afro-Colombian community councils of Riscales, La Plata and Chucheros.
“These communities are already good stewards of their lands and willing partners,” said María Claudia Díazgranados Cadelo, Director of Marine and Community Incentives Programs for Conservation International Colombia. “Yet they lack the resources and management structure to counter threats to their way of life and the mounting pressures from illegal and predatory activities and conflict. With dedicated technical and financial assistance, these communities can better participate in the sustainable management of their resources for the benefit of all.”
“The La Minga Fund will enable us to capitalize on our strong partnerships and decades of experience in Colombia to accelerate our conservation actions along the Pacific coast and provide a needed model for Colombia, the region and hopefully the world to emulate,” said José Luis Gómez, Executive Director of Fondo Acción.
The principal donor to the La Minga Fund is the Walton Family Foundation, with additional contributions from Conservation International’s Global Conservation Fund and the Embassy of Sweden in Bogotá. The Fund includes a $2.5 million endowment and a sinking fund, which will help cover budgetary needs of the three locally managed marine protected areas (MPAs) and two national parks. Conservation International, Fondo Acción and partners are actively fundraising to reach a target of $5 million for the endowment fund within the next few years. 
About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International and its groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign, and follow the organization’s work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
About Fondo Acción
Fondo Acción is a Colombian private non-profit that believes in the power and creativity of local communities to take advantage of opportunities and solve problems in the fields of conservation and rural sustainable development. 
Fondo Acción was established in 2000 under the Bilateral Agreement for the Americas Initiative, the first debt for nature swap signed between the governments of Colombia and the United States of America. Fondo Acción currently manages twenty different accounts created by donors such as USAID, the World Bank, the French Agency for Development, GEF, UNDP, the Government of the United Kingdom (ICF), the Colombian Agency for International Cooperation, the World Wildlife Fund, and The Nature Conservancy. 

​Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (December 18, 2017) – Today, Conservation International and partner Eco-Custodian Advocates announced the successful tagging of two endangered species of sea turtles, the hawksbill and…
​Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (December 18, 2017) – Today, Conservation International and partner Eco-Custodian Advocates announced the successful tagging of two endangered species of sea turtles, the hawksbill and green sea turtles, with satellite-tracking devices. The tagging, which took place from December 4 through December 15, will allow for a deeper understanding of the movements of one of the world’s oldest creatures and marks the first effort of its kind in Papua New Guinea. It will play a key role in the conservation of endangered sea turtles in the region.
The 12-day tagging expedition took place across three islands in the Ware region of Milne Bay, Kasamalamalawe, Kololona and Manpina in Papua New Guinea. Scientists tagged three critically endangered hawksbill turtles and four endangered green sea turtles with satellite-tracking devices. Thirty turtles also received flipper tags.
Tissue samples were gathered from all turtles to conduct genetic analysis. The information gathered on population numbers, movements, feeding behavior and nesting and hatching locations will be used to develop a long-term conservation strategy and inform community and government officials.
Subsistence hunting of sea turtles and the devastating impacts of climate change have created an urgent need for conservation efforts of the species and sustainable management of marine resources in the region. The Conservation International and Eco-Custodian Advocates expedition marks a substantial advancement in research and conservation efforts.
“These islands offer a perfect snapshot of what we’re seeing all around the world, the decline of sea turtles in the face of the impacts of climate change and human threats on our oceans. Sea turtles are great indicators of the health of an ecosystem, so the information gathered from these tags will not only help with improving sea turtle conservation, but ecosystem health as well,” says Conservation International Coral Triangle Program Director Niquole Esters.
“PNG’s sea turtles are being harvested for their meat, eggs and shells. From a scientific perspective, very little is known about PNG’s turtles and the only satellite tracking work to date has focused on leatherbacks. It is crucial we obtain baseline population migratory pathways and genetic stocks, to inform future conservation efforts,” said Geoffrey Gearheart, Ph.D., a marine biologist and oceanographer at Tellus4D Geoimaging.
“We’ve been in slow-motion for so long in gaining information about sea turtles using metal flipper tags, and this represents a paradigm shift by offering real-time information so that communities and the government can take steps to conserve and manage sea turtles,” said David Mitchell, Director of Eco-Custodian Advocates.
The tagging initiative is a collaboration between Conservation International, Eco-Custodian Advocates, the landowners of Ware Island, the Milne Bay Government and support from the Government of Australia. The program integrates traditional community knowledge and practices, science-based conservation and management practices while achieving the goal of reinforcing community environmental stewardship through the development of sea turtle conservation efforts.
About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International and its groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign, and follow the organization’s work   on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
About Eco Custodian Advocates
Eco Custodian Advocates aims that each of the peoples of PNG have a belonging to place, as custodians of the environment and with an appreciation of their cultural ties to it. Eco Custodian Advocates focuses its conservation efforts on the Milne Bay Province. The area is extremely susceptible to pressures from a rapidly increasing population, the erosion of customary knowledge, destructive resource extraction, climate change and most importantly, a lack of conservation awareness and ecological knowledge. Eco Custodian Advocates strives to empower Papua New Guinean communities to sustainably manage their important and stunning ecosystems and natural assets, which support the livelihoods of those relying on their delicate environment for subsistence living. Learn more about Eco-Custodian Advocates.​

Arlington, Va. (December 7, 2017) – Conservation International Senior Vice President for Oceans 'Aulani Wilhelm made the following statement on the U.S. Department of the Interior's recommendations to allow fishing…
Arlington, Va. (December 7, 2017) – Conservation International Senior Vice President for Oceans ‘Aulani Wilhelm made the following statement on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s recommendations to allow fishing in the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument and Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument​: 

​​The recommendation put forward by the Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke​​ fails to properly care for and manage these irreplaceable ocean resources. Allowing fishing in these protected waters would undermine their core purpose and complicate enforcement, making them more vulnerable to illegal fishing and setting a troubling precedent for similar areas around the world.
Among other impacts, weakening protections for U.S. marine national monuments in the Pacific could damage the extraordinary biodiversity of underwater seamounts and threaten the integrity of spawning grounds that are essential for the replenishment of fish stocks that U.S. fishing communities and consumers rely on.
The world has made historic progress in ocean protection. Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Chile and the Cook Islands have all recently made major commitments as part of this global effort. These countries understand that healthy oceans — sustained by fully-protected marine reserves — are critical for long-term economic growth and food security.
Conservation International urges President Trump to reject these recommendations and fulfill America’s commitment to Pacific conservation.
About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, CI works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about CI and its groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign, and follow CI’s work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.