Growing cleaner, better coffee in the ‘land of a thousand hills’

Agricultural fields in Ruhengeri, Rwanda. Conservation agreements are helping farmers grow more sustainable coffee that can fetch a higher price. (© Rod Mast) Editor’s note: Tall, grande, venti; light roast or dark roast; Costa Rican, Kenyan, blended — you can make a dozen decisions about your morning cup of coffee. Some of those choices, like whether the coffee is shade grown or sun grown, have critical impacts on the environment. In Rwanda,…

Restoring Freshwater Fisheries in the Colombian Amazon

Last month, Margarita Mora traveled to southern Colombia to document the implementation of conservation agreements with local communities through CI’s Conservation Stewards Program. Community leaders who are implementing conservation agreements in the area around La Pedrera, Colombia. (© CI/photo by Margarita Mora) Nine days ago, I arrived in La Pedrera, Colombia. I was supposed to leave yesterday, but the commercial flight that comes here once…

Conservation – at a great bargain

Sometimes, conservation solutions are beautifully simple. This is the case with CI’s pioneering conservation agreement with the government of Guyana. Here’s how it works: Before a logging company could lease 200,000 acres of intact Amazonian from the Guyanese government, CI stepped in to protect the land, and leased it for conservation. This unique conservation agreement comes at a great bargain, less than $100,000 a year. It’s an incredible…

The Bonn climate talks: Here’s what you need to know

Savusavu marina and Nawi islet, Vanua Levu island, Fiji. The Government of Fiji is presiding over COP23 in Bonn with the support of the government of Germany. (© Donyanedomam/istockphoto) This year’s UN climate change conference, the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23), starts Monday in Bonn, Germany. You may be forgiven if you hadn’t heard about it. Two years after the 2015 climate talks culminated in the Paris Agreement, the 2017 talks…

Experts: Paris Agreement falls short on indigenous rights

Kayapó woman in the Brazilian Amazon. The tropical forests currently owned and managed by indigenous peoples have great potential to help mitigate climate change. (© Cristina Mittermeier) When world leaders announced a historic climate deal in Paris after years of negotiations, many participants and observers touted it as a triumph marking the beginning of the end of the fossil-fuel era. But the agreement has come under withering criticism from…

Climate’s new leaders: 6 reasons for hope

The Eiffel tour during U.N. climate negotiations in 2015. (© Yann Caradec/Flickr Creative Commons) Editor’s note: With U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, the United States government has effectively removed itself from a crucial platform for global climate policy, with anticipated negative impacts for America’s economy and standing in the world. But all is not lost, Conservation

How 3,000 holes in the dirt can save a barren land — and alter a social landscape

Wildflowers in South Africa’s Namaqualand region. (© Conservation International/photo by John Martin) The temperature hovered near freezing as farmer Katrina Schwartz and I stood before 3,000 shallow holes stretching as far as the eye could see. A sudden freeze had recently hit Leliefontein, a town in the South African region of Namaqualand, after a long drought, causing major livestock losses for farmers. Land had turned barren; degraded…

3 ways protecting nature can help resolve conflict

A man looks out over the East Nimba Nature Reserve in Liberia, an area rich in both forests and large deposits of iron ore and gold. CI and local partners worked with the communities to help implement conservation agreements that addressed conflicts over resources. (© Conservation International/photo by Bailey Evans) From the murders of environmentalists to wars that threaten iconic wildlife, the links between human conflicts and natural…

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