International (CI) believes that the Earths
natural heritage must be maintained if future generations
are to thrive spiritually, culturally and economically.
CI is currently working on projects in more than 40
countries on four continents to protect global biodiversity
and demonstrate that human societies can live harmoniously
with nature. CI develops scientific, policy, and economic
solutions to protect threatened natural ecosystems that
are rich in biodiversity.
Focus: CI works in "hotspots" of biological
diversity, areas distinguished by exceptional numbers
of species and the imminent threat of destruction. CI
protects tropical rain forests and other important ecosystems,
such as wetlands, savannas, temperate rain forests,
deserts and marine ecosystems.
following examples illustrate how the sum of the parts
of CI's strategy -- economics, community development
and science -- form a comprehensive regional approach
that produces tangible, lasting results.
CI strives to save the natural world by proving its
economic value. Locally, CI helps people in the most
threatened areas develop economically viable alternatives
to ecosystem destruction. Nationally, CI helps decision-makers
limit destructive resource use and encourage sustainable
development. Internationally, CI finds innovative ways
to fund conservation in countries where funding is desperately
pioneered the "debt-for-nature swap," a financial
tool that eases the burden of debt and leverages local
currency for conservation projects. Since CI's first
swap in 1987, nearly $200 million in developing world
debt has been exchanged in dozens of transactions, leveraging
$150 million for conservation worldwide. CI remains
the leading innovator in the field, recently completing
the first deals involving the use of commercial debt,
trade credits and Brady bonds.
CI's land mark Suriname Bio-prospecting Agreement with
Bristol-Myers Squibb, the Government of Suriname, and
the National Institutes of Health, the medicinal knowledge
of indigenous peoples is helping to direct the search
for new medicines. The Bio-prospecting Agreement is
groundbreaking in that it recognizes, for the first
time, the intellectual property rights of these cultures
by guaranteeing them an equitable share of royalties
from any new medicines developed through the investigation.