When people can’t get what they need to survive, conservation can’t succeed.
At Conservation International, we’re turning this equation around – making sure that people have the necessities they need to thrive so that they can and want to protect the Earth and its resources.
Rarely is the connection between human health and nature more obvious than in the relationship between people and fresh water. Fresh water must be readily available, clean and suitable for agriculture, washing, and – perhaps most importantly – human consumption.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 94 percent of the nearly two million annual diarrheal deaths can be attributed to unsafe drinking water and inadequate sanitation.
In response, CI and our partners helped families in Madagascar – an island rich in animals and plants found nowhere else on Earth – construct more than 2,900 latrines and 2,800 waste pits in more than 30 rural communities.
By linking protection of the Earth to positive human health outcomes, we made conservation attractive to these local communities.
An outreach and education program complemented our efforts, as did traditional reforestation projects, which have helped reinstate watershed services such as water purification through natural filtration systems.
At Conservation International, we are replicating this core idea – that human health and environmental protection go hand in hand.