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The New NGO Challenge: Engaging Business as a Force for Conservation Performance Track 2004 Conference April 22, 2004. Conservation International.

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The New NGO Challenge:

Engaging Business as a Force for Conservation

Performance Track 2004 Conference

April 22, 2004

Conservation International

Conservation International protects the Earth’s living heritage, our global biodiversity, and demonstrates that human societies and nature can live harmoniously

Conservation Outcomes

  • Extinctions avoided

  • Critical areas protected

  • Conservation corridors created

Core Strategies

  • Science

  • Set priorities, define outcomes, create conservation tools, monitor results

  • Human welfare

  • Reinforce the links between biodiversity and human health and livelihoods

  • Partnerships

  • Engage key partners and build capacity

The Business Case

Industry leaders are turning their attention to biodiversity


  • Align with values of employees and customers

  • Win “license to operate” from local stakeholders

  • Defend global brands from activist pressure

  • Respond to demands from capital markets

  • Invest in sustainability of own products


Business becomes a force for biodiversity conservation

  • Companies invest in conservation

  • Biodiversity protection

  • Carbon sequestration

  • Watershed protection

  • Sustainable development

Conservation investments

  • Companies

  • Support conservation planning in critical ecosystems where they do business

  • Promote public policies on biodiversity, climate change and water

Policy framework

  • Companies

  • Reduce the impact of their own operations

  • Create conservation incentives along their supply chains



Office Depot

  • Forest & Biodiversity Conservation Alliance with CI, NatureServe, The Nature Conservancy

  • Linked to Office Depot’s paper procurement policy

    • Assemble data on threatened biodiversity in paper producing regions

    • Work with suppliers to apply science-based conservation methods in key forest landscapes

    • Establish procurement criteria and supply chain incentives

  • Effective response to NGO activist campaign

  • Platform for engaging other leading retailers of forest and paper products

International Council of Cruise Lines

  • Ocean Conservation and Tourism Alliance with CI

  • Accelerate adoption of Advanced Wastewater Purification technology—a high profile issue and focus of NGO campaigns

  • Support conservation and environmental management in key destinations

  • Educate and engage passengers

  • Reward local tour operators for improved environmental performance


  • Commitment to Origins coffees (conservation, organic, fair trade) benefit farmers, biodiversity

  • Coffee sourcing guidelines create incentives for good environmental and social practices throughout the coffee supply chain

  • Financing partnerships provide affordable credit for small farmers using good practices

  • Implemented with a wide range of partners (CI, Fair Trade, CARE, Calvert, SCS, etc.)

  • Responds to interests of customers and NGO campaigners

  • Promotes sustained production of high quality coffee

Energy & Biodiversity Initiative

  • Partnership among BP, ChevronTexaco, Shell, Statoil, CI, FFI, IUCN, Smithsonian and TNC

  • Developing and promoting practices to integrate biodiversity protection into oil & gas development

  • Guidelines and other products for industry managers and stakeholders available on-line (

  • Refining the products and promoting their application

    • Pilot projects of member companies

    • Industry trade associations (IPIECA, OGP)

    • NGO working groups (IUCN)

    • Regional workshops

Common Themes

  • Building trust takes time and attention—companies and NGOs aren’t natural partners (cultural differences, stereotypes, different expectations, etc.)

  • Successful partnerships advance both parties’ interests—business benefits and conservation outcomes

  • Both parties need to focus on engaging key stakeholders—activist NGOs are a particular challenge

  • Think big and outside the fence-line to capture greater environmental and business benefits