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BE INSPIRATION │ KNOWLEDGE 9 CONSERVATION 2.5


Today, I think we are collectively developing a way forward that will really work -- a 'Conservation 2.5' for the well-being of nature and people. In this operating system, the motivation for protection of nature shifts into an emphasis on the continued provision of ecosystem service delivery systems to people and businesses, or the flow of goods and services that our companies, governments, and families directly rely on to thrive. These services include our fruits and their pollinators, our coral reefs and their fisheries, plants and their medicinal benefits; our forests and glaciers and their clean waters; our mangroves and coral reefs that protect us from storms; our productive soils and nutrient cycles to cultivate food, and so much more.


What this has translated into is an increasing understanding that for a company or a nation to ensure long-term viability -- what they both want to achieve -- they need to be able to incorporate into their principles strategies and values an understanding of economic contribution of nature and her services to their own survival.


The good news is that today, companies are much more receptive when we tell them they need to do things right, because they understand that their future is completely dependent on how they take care of nature. They're saying: help us, show us. We have never before seen as many companies hiring sustainability officers so they can anticipate how they predict the flow of the products they sell. We have never seen so many companies concerned about instability of energy supplies and the need to maximize efficiency and reduction of waste. Additionally, social media is shining an ever-watchful light on corporate behavior and procurement.


Companies that make sustainability part of their DNA will thrive. Those that do not will falter. Collectively we have the power to motivate companies and governments to change.


If we can get decision makers to value nature's services, if we can help them understand that this is in their enlightened self-interest, then we can transition to sustainable development. It will take a huge amount of work, but there are big institutions out there that have huge energy which we can convert to work for us. I would not have thought we could do that 25 years ago. Today I think we can.


In founding Conservation International all those years ago we took a leap of faith. We jumped out on our own and built something against the odds. We're making the same leap of faith today. The next four decades are going to be a serious challenge as our population soars to more than 9 billion in 40 years and 10 billion by the end of this century. Demand for energy, food and water is going to double and we only have one planet to resource this soaring demand. Conservation is not a luxury for times of wealth. It is a necessity. We have to work together now to set ambitious targets to ensure that we don't have islands of success in a sea of destruction. So we cannot slow down. Now we must intensify our combined efforts.


About the Author ~ Peter Seligmann has a vision and a mission. The vision is an environmentally healthy world that will provide economic opportunities and security for all people. The mission is to bring together industry, government, religious leaders, professors, scientists, local and indigenous people to make that vision a reality.


The future Peter imagines ‒ in which our Earth’s natural wealth serves as the cornerstone for vibrant, thriving human societies ‒ is attainable, but it will require a global shift in attitudes and actions. As Peter touches hearts and changes minds, more and more people embrace a conservation ethic.


Follow Peter Seligmann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ConservationOrg


About Conservation International (CI) ~ Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the long term well-being of people. Founded in 1987 and marking its 25th anniversary in 2012, CI has headquarters in the Washington DC area, and 900 employees working in nearly 30 countries on four continents, plus 1,000+ partners around the world.


For more information, please visit at www.conservation.org , or on Facebook or Twitter.


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