Companies largely blind to magnitude of climate change risks, new study finds

Only 3 percent of companies are including nature as part of their adaptation strategy, a new study finds. Conservation International is working with companies to implement “green-gray infrastructure,” or infrastructure that combines mangroves and engineered structures, in the Philippines to protect communities on the coast. (© Nandini Narayanan)

Companies around the world are vastly underestimating the risks that climate change poses to their business, a new study finds.

The study, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, analyzed disclosures from more than 1,600 global companies and found that they are collectively underreporting the financial implications of climate risks to investors by at least 100 times.

Human Nature spoke with Allie Goldstein, a scientist at Conservation International and the study’s lead author, about the findings.

Continue reading

From ‘Tarzan’ to tarsiers: one conservationist’s wild journey

Wallacea Biodiversity Hotspot

Wallacea Biodiversity Hotspot, Indonesia. (© Conservation International/photo by Aulia Erlangga)

He has discovered 18 species new to science. He has eight species — including three frogs, a lizard and a monkey — named after him. He has visited every tropical forest on Earth.

His inspiration? Tarzan.

One of the world’s foremost conservationists, Russ Mittermeier, credits the venerable fictional jungle dweller with helping to launch his celebrated career in protecting nature.

Continue reading

As emissions rise, UN climate talks take on greater urgency

National park in Mexico

Lagunas de Zempoala National Park, Mexico. (© Jessica Scranton)

This has been an alarming year for climate change effects. Wildfires scorched California, hurricanes took heavy tolls and coral reefs are dying. In the face of these natural disasters, greenhouse gas emissions, the main driver of climate change, aren’t decreasing — in fact, they’re going up, according to a new report.

A commentary on the report, published this week by Christiana Figueres, the former head of the United Nations climate change body and distinguished fellow at Conservation International, comes as countries gather this week and next for the UN climate talks (COP 24) in Poland.

Continue reading

In case you missed it: 3 big stories from our world

Katydid in Costa Rica

A newly discovered katydid in Costa Rica. (© Piotr Naskrecki)

Editor’s note: News about conservation and the environment is made every day, but some of it can fly under the radar. In a recurring feature, Human Nature shares three stories from the past week that you should know about.

  1. The insect apocalypse is here

Insect populations are rapidly declining due to climate change, herbicides and pesticides and loss of habitat due to human expansion.

The story: Insect populations are declining worldwide, and a recent study in Germany found that overall insect abundance had decreased by 75 percent over just 27 years, Brooke Jarvis reported in The New York Times last week. Because of insects’ declining numbers, bird and fish populations have been affected — one half of farmland birds in Europe have disappeared in the last three decades.

Continue reading

Protected areas are not forever

Anzihe Protected Area

Patrolling at the high-altitude area of Anzihe Protected Area, Sichuan. (© Kyle Obermann)

A new report offers insight into the world’s protected areas — and the challenges they face.

Protected area coverage worldwide has grown since 2016 — now covering 14.9 percent of land and 7.3 percent of oceans —  but a new analysis reveals gaps in the protected area system, highlighting essential places for biodiversity and ecosystems that need further protection.

The 2018 Protected Planet Report, released last week at the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) 14th meeting, comes at a critical moment as governments around the world gear up to define new global conservation targets for the next decade. The report acts as a progress check for protected areas regarding Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, which requires signatories to the CBD to protect 17 percent of lands and 10 percent of waters by 2020. However, it does not fully account for an important reality: the impermanence of protected areas.

Continue reading

In case you missed it: 3 big stories from our world

Yasuni National Park

Amazon rainforest in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador. (© Lucas Bustamante)

Editor’s note: News about conservation and the environment is made every day, but some of it can fly under the radar. In a recurring feature, Human Nature shares three stories from the past week that you should know about.

  1. Major Trump administration climate report says damage is ‘intensifying across the country’

Authors of the National Climate Assessment, published last week by the Trump administration, warn that climate change is already affecting the country, and will get worse in the future.

Continue reading

Holiday gifts you can feel good about giving

Bloomist, a nature-inspired home décor and design company, helps save forests through Conservation International’s Protect an Acre program. (Image courtesy of Bloomist)

Holiday gift-giving can be fraught. Finding the right gift for everyone on your list — something heartfelt yet useful, meaningful yet affordable — is no easy task.

Finding the right gift for the environmentalist in your family can seem even more daunting.

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

Conservation International’s 2018 gift guide offers a range of unique items that you can feel good about giving — meaningful ideas that give back to nature. Here are some of the top picks from Conservation International’s newest partners.

Continue reading

In case you missed it: 3 big stories from our world

Young mountain gorilla

A young mountain gorilla rides on its mother’s back in Rwanda. (© Rod Mast)

Editor’s note: News about conservation and the environment is made every day, but some of it can fly under the radar. In a recurring feature, Human Nature shares three stories from the past week that you should know about.

  1. Rare conservation win: Mountain gorilla population ticks up

Mountain gorillas were just updated from “critically endangered” to “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Continue reading

Why is biodiversity important?

Elephant near the Mara North Conservancy in Kenya. (© Jon McCormack)

Humanity must stop the pace of wildlife extinctions — or face extinction, according to the United Nations.

The world has two years to seal a new pact on wildlife protection, the head of the UN body on wildlife, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), told The Guardian last week. In two days, the EU and 195 member nations of the CBD will gather for two weeks to try to stem the tide of species extinctions.

Nothing less than humanity is at stake, observers say.

Continue reading

In case you missed it: 3 big stories from our world

Polar bears

Polar bears from The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (© Conservation International/photo by Russell A. Mittermeier)

Editor’s note: News about conservation and the environment is made every day, but some of it can fly under the radar. In a recurring feature, Human Nature shares three stories from the past week that you should know about.

  1. Mining the deep ocean will soon begin

The seabed is the next frontier of mining — bringing promise for society but, potentially, peril for sea life.

The story: One of the benefits of deep-sea mining is that metals such as copper, nickel and cobalt can all be extracted from one place whereas on land, more than one metal is rarely found at each site, The Economist reported last week. Although the deep-sea isn’t home to many creatures, the ones that do live there are diverse and not well-studied, so disrupting their ecosystems could cause unknown harm.

Continue reading