The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Since our founding in 1951 we have protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide - and we operate more than 100 marine conservation projects globally. We have more than one million members. We work in all 50 states and more than 30 countries - protecting habitats from grasslands to coral reefs, from Australia to Alaska to Zambia. We address threats to conservation involving climate change, fire, fresh water, forests, invasive species, and marine ecosystems. We use a science-based approach, aided by our more than 500 staff scientists, and we pursue non-confrontational, pragmatic solutions to conservation challenges.
General Update On Program Service Accomplishments From Nature Conservancy President and Ceo Mark Tercek$616m
Advancing Our Mission...Bigger, Faster, Smarter Ten years ago, I arrived at The Nature Conservancy from Wall Street, ready for a new challenge: to make the world a better place. It might seem glib, but that's exactly what I found. Every day I come to work, I roll up my sleeves, and I get to dig in with my colleagues on our four priorities: protect land and water, tackle climate change, provide food and water sustainably, and build healthy cities. Together, these four areas make up TNC's Shared Conservation Agenda-our north star for conservation efforts. My job allows me to witness in action the significant progress we are making toward these very ambitious and important goals. What's more, I get to work alongside the most dedicated and inspiring people I've ever met. I can't help but feel optimistic. On the other hand, I want to be a realist. I don't want to be naive. All around the world, environmental organizations like TNC face some very serious political headwinds, and the nature of our work is only becoming more difficult and more complex. To tackle these enormous, challenging goals we have to work bigger, faster and smarter. The Conservancy has done the science. We've run the numbers. We know that a sustainable world is possible if society makes big changes now. And at TNC, we have the responsibility to help lead the way. By applying what we've learned from 68 years of conservation experience, collaborating with experts across sectors and taking our work to a global scale, we really can make a difference. On the land and water protection front, that means focusing on truly big, transformative projects-like our record-setting acquisition of a crucial, unprotected stretch of California's coast, which includes rare woodlands and marine habitats. It also means acknowledging that a lasting protection strategy doesn't end with close of sale. To that end, we've formed landmark partnerships with indigenous communities to strengthen their role in protecting their land and water on a continental scale. We also support our land trust allies to take on local efforts. To tackle climate change, we cannot wait for U.S. federal leadership to have a change of heart-we have to work faster. Time is not on our side. The Conservancy is forming partnerships with those who are ready to act at the city and state level and leveraging that action to have a global impact. And we are demonstrating how natural climate solutions work on the ground from Indonesia and Tanzania to here in the Americas. This work is a powerful example of local action with global reach. Feeding a growing world population without sacrificing nature requires us to work smarter and accelerate the development, testing and expansion of technology. We're working with partners to develop tools that enable farmers and ranchers to use water more efficiently, prevent nutrient runoff and produce more on less land. This technology revolution is also empowering fishers around the world to track their catch from ocean to table with a goal to make the world's fisheries more sustainable. And as people move to urban areas at an unprecedented rate, we are employing nature itself to improve quality of life and reduce pollution in cities around the world. Stormwater runoff, for instance, is the fastest-growing source of pollution in our rivers and estuaries. We are developing policy and finance solutions to rapidly scale up green infrastructure in places as diverse as China and the U.S. Furthermore, city dwellers will become greater advocates for nature when they see its positive benefits immediately around them. And they will be healthier too-thanks to the ecosystem services nature provides, such as protection from sea level rise and extreme weather, filtered air to breathe, and clean water to drink. We all have important roles to play to create a sustainable future for generations to come. At TNC, we're walking the talk by bringing our diverse and dispersed teams together to tackle our ambitious goals and achieve our shared conservation agenda. It's one of the many reasons I am so proud to lead this organization. But the reality is, we need more people and resources on our side. We need more supporters like Jack and Laura Dangermond, whose $165 million donation to protect the former Bixby Ranch was the largest single philanthropic gift we've ever received. We also need more members and volunteers who contribute what they can to causes they care about-and lend their time and expertise to advocate for nature. And importantly, we need more diverse voices around the world to let leaders know that a healthy natural world is not a luxury-it's a necessity. On behalf of TNC, thank you for your support. Together we can all work bigger, faster and smarter to create a world in which people and nature thrive.
Reimagining Conservation On a Global Scale$0
The Nature Conservancy remains rooted in the basic mission and values that have driven us since that first conservation action at Mianus River Gorge outside New York City. But as our knowledge of nature and how to safeguard it has evolved, and as the world has changed in those 60-plus years, we have stepped up to be as ambitious as our mission requires. Protecting the lands and waters on which all life depends demands that we now work bigger, at the scale that nature compels; faster, to outpace the world's destructive forces; and smarter, tapping the innovation and technologies that promise solutions in a rapidly changing world. California's Last Perfect Place In Pursuit of Wide-Open Spaces: There's no place like it on Earth. Eight miles of pristine Southern California coastline. Nearly 25,000 acres of grassland, oak and cypress forests, chaparral and coastal scrub. Home to 14 endangered species. It's been referred to as "the last perfect place in California." The Nature Conservancy purchased this land last year thanks to Jack and Laura Dangermond, philanthropists, conservationists and co-founders of Esri, who made a transformative and timely philanthropic gift of $165 million to the organization. This private donation is the single largest philanthropic gift in TNC's history. Located where the cold-water currents of the Northern Pacific collide with the warmer waters of the Santa Barbara channel, the property's unique location makes for a very rare opportunity to study the convergence of four unique ecoregions and seven habitats in one place. Acquiring and protecting this "crown jewel" coastal property has been a top conservation priority for decades. Under TNC's protection, it will never be developed. Collaborating with key partners and stakeholders, TNC has embarked on a comprehensive planning process to understand all that is contained on the 25,000 acres, how to bring it into balance and protect the various resources from ecological, cultural and historical perspectives, and to develop a comprehensive plan that will shape the long-term use and management of the new preserve. The preserve is also a living piece of California history. The land will give scientists a rare look at how wildlife and natural systems adapt unfettered to climate change, sea level rise, wildlife movements and other pressing issues for California and the world. The Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve is indicative of the scale toward which TNC now directs its protection efforts worldwide. Conserving lands and waters requires efforts at a scale unimaginable earlier in our history. From the vast arid lands of Australia to Canada's Great Bear Rainforest, from the miles of ocean surrounding the Seychelles islands to the free-flowing rivers of the Balkans in Europe, TNC is committed to building innovative partnerships and employing diverse strategies with local communities and stakeholders, governments and many others to protect the health of lands and waters on which all life depends-and at a scale that matters. Technology Innovation to Solve Environmental Challenges: Our world is seeing a revolution in the ways great companies deliver traditional services and products. Former start-ups like Lyft, Airb&b and Spotify have harnessed technology to rapidly create entirely new markets or disrupt existing ones. Imagine if we could apply this model to save the planet. That's the motto of Techstars, a Colorado-based firm dedicated to developing and capitalizing promising technology startup businesses. This year Techstars teamed up with The Nature Conservancy for a first-of-its-kind partnership to identify entrepreneurs with commercially viable technologies to solve the greatest challenges facing nature and people. With the world's population projected to grow to 10 billion people by 2050, entrepreneurs in the Techstars Sustainability Accelerator will be challenged to refine technology that can be rapidly scaled to help provide food and water sustainably and tackle climate change. Over the next three years, TNC and Techstars will incubate 30 such potential ventures that promise to serve TNC's and partner's highest conservation priorities. A rigorous three-month residency includes intensive collaboration and mentoring with leaders in science, business, finance and other disciplines, resulting in a "demo day" to showcase their technologies to potential investors for subsequent funding rounds. White boards captured the evolving concepts of these ambitious altruists as they dug-in with those who helped inform their thinking and refine their strategies. StormSensor is creating the world's first smart urban watersheds by providing customers with the information they need to identify, track, predict and prevent pollution and flooding in real time. FlyWire's patented video technology provides fishers and managers with the tools they need to effectively assess and certify their fisheries are operating sustainably. Lotic Labs is an environmental data science platform to drive the water sector to become more sustainable in the face of climate change and weather volatility. ThisFish is a global provider of seafood traceability software that improves efficiency for fishers and increases trust and transparency in seafood supply chains. Ensuring Water Security: Expanding a proven model to four continents In the year 2000, The Nature Conservancy embarked on an experiment in Quito, Ecuador-to create a mechanism for urban water users to pay upstream landowners to use good farming practices and to conserve or restore natural areas that protect water at the source, rather than pay for expensive industrial filtration. The benefits were manifold: reliable clean water for city dwellers, renewed health of the surrounding landscape and waterways-for people and wildlife-and generation of income for good land stewards. The concept has rapidly spread across Latin America and to the United States, Africa, Australia and Asia. Around the world, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water. Furthermore, major cities, like Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Cape Town, South Africa, have teetered dangerously close to running out of fresh water altogether in recent years. Climate change is contributing to drought conditions just as urban expansion has reduced the forests and other ground cover crucial to holding and filtering water. In the much-depleted Atlantic Forest, TNC is accelerating a massive reforestation effort inland of Sao Paulo that will help secure the city's freshwater supply as well as fulfill a significant portion of Brazil's carbon reduction commitment. Similarly, in Nairobi, Kenya, one of Africa's fastest-growing cities, TNC and local partners launched the Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund to reduce erosion from the expansion of farms and tea plantations on the outskirts of the city. And in arid Arizona, an innovative water fund has been established for the Salt and Verde rivers, part of the Colorado River Basin. Here, tests are being conducted to see if farmers switching to crops with water needs that better mirror the river's seasonal flows can yield crops and businesses that benefit from the transition. The Conservancy is working with 60 water funds around the world, in different stages of development and operation. But we estimate that roughly 690 cities serving more than 433 million people globally have the potential to fully offset water treatment costs through investment in conservation alone. This year, TNC launched a Water Fund Accelerator pilot project to test the feasibility of expanding the rate of new water fund development to 45 per year. We also introduced a Water Funds Toolbox to share our knowledge and aid partners and others in launching new projects with or without TNC involvement.
A Forested Path To a Stable Climate$0
Connecting natural climate solutions around the world and across all 50 states Climate change knows no geopolitical boundaries. Today, climate change stands as the single greatest threat to our planet. Absent federal leadership in the U.S. currently, The Nature Conservancy has joined forces with governments, private enterprise and others in all 50 states to advance policies and practices that demonstrate nature-based solutions and help ensure we meet obligations codified in the Paris Agreement. Some state-based endeavors are far-reaching. The Conservancy has been a key partner with the state of California in establishing its landmark carbon market over the past two decades. California polluters buy a specified amount of permits to reflect greenhouse gases they are allowed to emit. An innovative policy move led by TNC created a new way for companies to meet a portion of their emissions standards by purchasing carbon offsets from sustainably managed forest projects. The Conservancy is now helping the California carbon market fund dozens of forest conservation projects across the country. One example is a 5,500-acre preserve near Vermont's northern border, part of a larger matrix of unfragmented forestland. Burnt Mountain is Vermont's first and largest forest carbon project eligible for the California carbon market. Early estimates suggest that the parcel will yield more than 236,772 credits in the first decade (1 credit = 1 metric ton of carbon), an equivalent benefit of removing 38,000 cars from the road. The carbon storage project is also anticipated to generate $2 million in revenue over 10 years. Burnt Mountain also happens to be TNC's newest acquisition in the Northeast Kingdom. Intact and healthy forests like those protected at Burnt Mountain clean our air, remove pollutants, improve water quality and slow the pace of climate change by storing carbon. Creating a carbon project here allows us to bring the benefits of those trees to the market. The Conservancy has also partnered with governments to invest in a $1 billion carbon fund through the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. This fund is designed to demonstrate large-scale carbon finance opportunities and will see more than 185 million carbon credits generated from tropical forest conservation across 19 countries between now and 2025. Science indicates that nature can provide more than a third of the emissions reductions we need between now and 2030 to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. Beyond the U.S., TNC is spearheading forest carbon efforts with partners worldwide, from Tanzania (see page x) to Chile and China, where TNC has implemented more than 27,000 acres of forest carbon-offset projects, including planting 24 million tree seedlings, which should sequester 2.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide within 60 years. Our latest expansion of the forest carbon model is blue carbon, recognizing that coastal wetlands-tidal marshes, seagrass meadows and mangrove forests-sequester billions of tons of carbon from our atmosphere at concentrations up to five times greater than terrestrial forests. A Capital Development: Making cities more livable and hubs for pollution prevention Cities that use nature-based solutions can enhance people's well-being and reduce the pollution generated by cities' millions of inhabitants. By midcentury, two of every three people on Earth will live in an urban area. This massive human migration from rural to urban is unprecedented in human history. The Conservancy's focus on reimagining cities as places where both people and nature thrive has benefits that ripple out to the lands and waters surrounding urban areas. By creating healthy communities that foster a deeper human connection to nature, we will improve lives for city dwellers and inspire an ethic of stewardship. After decades of population decline, Washington, D.C., is now a growing city again, as its skyline of construction cranes can attest. The city has a checkered past with the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. Rain runs off roofs, rushes across petroleum-polluted roads and parking lots carrying chemicals, garbage and animal waste into surrounding waterways. More than 3 billion gallons of stormwater runoff and raw sewage flow into the district's rivers each year, making it the fastest-growing source of water pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Like many cities, Washington has a mandate to address stormwater runoff. But the district has a unique advantage: innovative regulations on new construction that allow for cash flow generation. There are two important components to these regulations. First, developers are required to address the stormwater runoff caused by their new construction and renovation projects, but they can take care of half of these abatement requirements by purchasing stormwater retention credits from off-site green infrastructure projects. That's where we get demand for the projects. Second, properties throughout the district-both new and old construction-can install green infrastructure projects, like rain gardens, that generate credits. They can sell these credits back to developers to generate revenue and recoup their costs. There's your supply. Washington's progressive regulations also facilitate partnerships with diverse organizations that can make big conservation gains. In this case, a religious organization, a conservation group, civil engineers, construction contractors, scientists, asset managers and impact investors all came together to address the common goal of reducing stormwater runoff. The Conservancy is building similar alliances in cities around the world, like the burgeoning metropolis of Shenzhen, China, to create replicable urban conservation models. With nature as our ally, we aim to improve the quality of life for more than 100 million people in cities around the world by 2025 and build a movement for nature-based solutions so that people and nature thrive together.
Reimagining Our Conservation Future$0
For decades many of those dedicated to the protection of the natural world imagined conservation as an eternal trade-off between people and nature. Farmers, ranchers and corporations were the enemy, despite our dependence on the products and services they provided. And emphasis was on saving pieces of the places we love and fencing them off from people. In truth, we owe a great deal to those efforts, but the reality we face today requires us to reimagine how we can safeguard the nature we love and depend upon from a burgeoning global population, a growing middle class and forces like climate change. The Nature Conservancy partnered with the University of Minnesota and 11 other organizations to ask whether it is possible to achieve a future where both people and nature thrive. The research paper, "An Attainable Global Vision for Conservation and Human Well-Being," published last year in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, presents a scientific test of our vision for a future where abundant, healthy ecosystems and thriving human communities coexist. To answer this question, we compared what the world will look like in 2050 if economic and human development progress in a "business as usual" fashion and what it would look like if instead we join forces to implement a "sustainable" path, applying existing solutions to the challenges that lie ahead. These scenarios let us ask, can we do better? Can we design a future that meets people's needs without further degrading nature in the process? Our answer is "yes," but it comes with several big "ifs." There is a path to get there, but matters are urgent-if we want to accomplish these goals by midcentury, we'll have to dramatically ramp up our efforts now. The next decade is critical. Furthermore, changing course in the next 10 years will require global collaboration on a scale not seen perhaps since World War II. The widely held impression that economic and environmental goals are mutually exclusive has contributed to a lack of connection among key societal constituencies best equipped to solve interconnected problems-namely, the public health, development, financial and conservation communities. This has to change. The notion of development versus conservation is simply untrue. Over the past several years, TNC has been actively engaged on all fronts to establish and refine a shared conservation agenda that addresses current and future realities and makes manifest a world where people and nature thrive together. Internally, we see it as an evolution, not a revolution. We continue to rely upon and build from strategies and values that were there from the start. Many continue to see us as a large American land trust, and indeed we continue to protect natural lands, only now focusing on efforts of much larger scale. And we have extended those protection strategies to rivers, coasts and oceans. But truth be told, we were never just a one-trick pony. Early on, we worked actively as a partner to governments and sought to influence policy in our areas of expertise. We also successfully engaged the corporate sector four decades ago when others considered it anathema to conservation. All along, the benefit to human well-being of our work was an unspoken and unheralded byproduct. It's impossible to work hand in glove with landowners, including farmers and ranchers, whose livelihoods are inextricably linked to land protection without understanding the connection. And as we expanded beyond the U.S., first to Latin America and the Caribbean, then to Asia Pacific and Africa, we recognized that in the developing world the union between people and nature is undeniable. Today, we've moved that intrinsic relationship between people and nature to the forefront, recognizing scientifically that time is running out to make the changes necessary to ensure that both can thrive. How we grow our food and fish our oceans, how we stabilize our climate and how we make our expanding cities more accommodating and dependent on nature's services are as essential to our mission now as buying land was in the 1950s. The pages that follow provide a taste of the many actions TNC is taking regionally to tackle the challenges that face nature and people in the 21st century. From ensuring clean fresh water in Africa to inspiring sustainable fisheries in the Pacific; from partnering with indigenous communities to secure a third of Australia's landmass to helping Balkan nations safeguard Europe's last free-flowing rivers; from restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest to successfully lobbying the U.S. Congress to adequately fund wildfire control-these 2018 achievements are the tip of the iceberg in TNC's coordinated efforts on four continents to help ensure a healthy natural world for people and nature. We do this with the support of our members, donors, government and corporate partners. We do this with our fellow conservation and humanitarian NGOs, and with world, state and community leaders. We do this for wildlife, for farmers, ranchers and fishers, for communities of Kenyan savannas and the densely populated cities of India. We do it for our sons and daughters and generations to come. We do this for the physical, mental and emotional well-being that nature provides and inspires. Final Achievements for All Regions 2018 HIGHLIGHT Of the hundreds of conservation actions that The Nature Conservancy oversaw in fiscal year 2018, the following are achievements from all of our regional programs, selected to show the scope and diversity of strategies we undertake with partners in pursuit of our mission. Africa Coffee farmers conserve soil and water-The Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund helps secure water in and around Nairobi, which gets 95 percent of its water from the Tana River. The Nature Conservancy and water fund partners are working with more than 20,000 farming households-one in four of which is headed by women-throughout the watershed to reduce erosion and water use. As part of this effort, more than 8,000 farmers received Rainforest Alliance certification for their coffee crops and therefore earned higher prices per pound. To receive this internationally recognized designation, farmers must meet rigorous environmental standards. Seeking sustainable wood fuels for East Africa-Wood fuel is one of Africa's most significant environmental and health threats: Respiratory infections, mainly from smoke inhalation, are a leading cause of death, and more than half of Africa's forest degradation is a result of fuel demand. In response, The Nature Conservancy launched the Sustainable Wood Fuels Program. We are partnering with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute to scientifically test efficient charcoal kilns and sustainable sources like native bamboo. If we identify viable alternatives that could be adopted by Kenyan families, the next phase will be working with partners across the continent to take this to scale. Conservation for carbon credits-The Nature Conservancy is working to secure local resource ownership, increase capacity for land stewardship and improve revenue flow to local communities to ensure that the Tarangire ecosystem is protected for hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, agriculturists and wildlife tourism. The southern edge of this largely intact woodland is now the site of a forest-carbon project: Our partner, Carbon Tanzania, signed a 30-year contract with Makame Wildlife Management Area (WMA) that guides the distribution of carbon sequestration revenues, which depend on successful habitat protection and sales of the resulting carbon credits. The [REVENUES? CREDITS? NEED A NOUN HERE] are projected to start in 2019 and to eventually cover all the WMA's expenses. Greater Cape Town water fund launched-Cape Town, South Africa, became the poster child for water security last year when predictions were being made that "Day Zero"-when freshwater supplies would be depleted-was on the near horizon. Rainfall and water conservation postponed those predictions, but a new water fund, established with The Nature Conservancy's support, seeks a longer-term solution. As a first step, a team of local women was hired to remove thirsty, non-native trees such as acacias that are on a critical aquifer water supply area.
Island nation protects 81,000 square miles-A landmark debt-for-conservation swap in 2016 brokered by The Nature Conservancy and partners is now yielding real results on the ground and in the water. The Republic of Seychelles has officially designated the first 15 percent of its exclusive economic zone-the marine area that the nation controls-in two new marine protection areas, an area larger than the island of Great Britain. Their commitment is to protect 30 percent by 2020 to ensure sustainable use of resources, buffer the islands from the effects of climate change and serve as a model for other island nations around the globe. A new Oceans Authority will be established to ensure strong protection of these new areas. Securing a vast inland desert oasis-The Nature Conservancy launched a new project in partnership with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project and the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission. Our goal is to protect the Okavango Delta's source waters, which are an important resource for nearly 1 million people and feed a unique inland habitat that is home to the world's largest elephant population. Though the Okavango basin remains largely intact, looming infrastructure threats call for urgent action. The Conservancy is bringing our expertise in watershed planning and conservation finance to the effort. Asia Pacific Rural communities empowered through phone app-With funding from the NetHope 2017 Device Challenge, The Nature Conservancy has leveraged the rapidly expanding use of smartphones to better connect remote villages. So far, more than 160 villages (totaling more than half a million people) can share strategies for improving forest management and their livelihoods. A recent government push for social forestry will further empower villages to protect forests from overlogging, palm oil plantation expansion and other threats. Forest protection is a key component of Indonesia's efforts to reduce emissions under the Paris Agreement to combat climate change. Inspiring adoption of sustainable fisheries technology-Eight Pacific Island nations cooperatively manage more than half of the global skipjack tuna catch. One of the eight-the Federated States of Micronesia-pledged to implement electronic monitoring and human observers on all industrial fishing vessels operating in its waters by 2023. This marks the first time a developing state has made this level of commitment, and they have challenged their island neighbors to adopt the same standards. Micronesia's commitment bolsters The Nature Conservancy's work across multiple countries in the region to significantly reduce illegal catch and advance sustainable fishing practices. Conserving one-third of nation's landmass-With generous funding from the BHP Billiton Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and partner organizations are collaborating on the 10 Deserts Project. Covering one-third of the country of Australia, the project aims to build environmental resilience across the arid lands of Australia's Outback. This new, formal collaboration of indigenous land managers and conservation groups has the distinction of being the largest indigenous-led conservation network in the world. Examining the benefits of oyster reef restoration-With support from J.P. Morgan and the China Global Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy is applying our shellfish restoration expertise to a new project in Hong Kong. Oysters are ecosystem engineers that play a tremendous role in coastal protection, and Hong Kong oysters in particular have incredible water-cleaning capabilities. The project in partnership with others supports a long-standing aquaculture industry and cultural heritage-oysters have been an important commodity in the Pearl River Delta for 700 years. Project results will help us understand the environmental, social and economic impacts of restored oyster reefs. Innovative digital platforms promote conservation in China-The Nature Conservancy and Happy Elements, a leading digital entertainment company in Asia, worked together to raise public awareness about protecting China's Yunnan snub-nosed monkey-one of the world's most endangered primates. Through an online game, we reached more than 156 million people within the first week of the awareness campaign. The campaign was shared more than 10 million times on WeChat and was also picked up by mainstream media such as the Chinese news outlet Xinhua. Mapping a path forward for Mongolia's grasslands-Spanning 80 percent of the country, Mongolia's grasslands generate livelihoods for 200,000 families of nomadic herders. The Nature Conservancy's data-driven assessments have identified the most critical areas for conservation and helped inform the designation of 26 million acres of national and local protected areas-an area the size of Kentucky. Now we are positioned to continue partnering with herder communities on sustainable land management and ensuring that government agencies protect the places that matter most for people and nature. New South Wales wetland target of TNC-led partnership-The Nature Conservancy is leading a consortium of four organizations dedicated to the stewardship of Gayini Nimmie-Caira-the largest remaining area of wetlands in Australia's Murrumbidgee Valley. The consortium includes the tribal council of the Nari Nari people, the land's traditional owners. The Nari Nari are playing a critical role in the management of the property. Together, we are demonstrating how agriculture, rural communities, indigenous people and nature can thrive in a landscape of global conservation significance. Building a sustainable seafood market in the Coral Triangle-The Nature Conservancy assisted a tribal group of 10,000 artisanal fishers on the island of Manus in Papua New Guinea to implement a management plan across their entire seascape and create a model for sustainably harvesting sea cucumbers. The new harvest model, which used NatureVest's innovative financing, resulted in the export of 1.5 tons of this highly sought-after but threatened delicacy to Hong Kong, representing a 2.5-fold profit increase. The community is investing these returns into its sustainable business model. Europe Repowering a region's pristine rivers-The Balkans are home to Europe's last remaining free-flowing rivers. The region is rich in biodiversity and steeped in cultural heritage, but also on the brink of a hydropower development of potentially thousands of projects. We are bringing The Nature Conservancy's expertise in renewable energy and conservation planning to encourage diversification of renewable power generation through better, environmentally sound siting. The Conservancy recently welcomed representatives from a number of Balkan countries to Wyoming for a study tour of wild and scenic rivers. Attendees heard from multiple experts about the mechanics of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the positive impact it has had on ecosystems, communities and economies. . India Demonstrating river restoration in Central Highlands-The Narmada River flows through the Central Indian Highlands, a Global Priority Landscape for tiger conservation as it supports more than 30 percent of India's tiger population. The river also provides water, food and livelihoods to more than 25 million people. The Nature Conservancy has scientifically identified locations along Narmada's riverbanks where reforestation efforts will have the highest benefits for people, biodiversity and the river. We are using this science to implement a reforestation project along a 3-mile stretch of the Narmada. Our long-term vision is to catalyze reforestation along the entire length of the river by providing this tried and tested reforestation model to state policymakers, businesses, nongovernmental organizations and local communities. Piloting urban wetlands restoration in Chennai-India is experiencing increasing urban migration, and cities are witnessing rapid, unplanned development at the cost of the environment and natural resources. Chennai-one of the largest cities in South India-has lost or degraded more than 85 percent of its wetlands in the last three decades. We are working with partners to implement science-based lake restoration, starting with a pilot project at Chennai's Sembakkam Lake. We aim to create guidelines to inform the efforts of various stakeholders, particularly city government, which has prioritized the restoration of 200 lakes across Chennai.
Latin America Protecting one of the world's last intact forests-The government of Peru established Yaguas National Park in the Peruvian Amazon. Roughly the size of the New York metropolitan area, the new park will prevent the loss of about 1.5 million tons of carbon over the next two decades. The Nature Conservancy supported this initiative through policy advocacy and raising awareness about the area's ecological and cultural importance. As Peru's former Prime Minister Mercedes Araoz put it, the park "will not only conserve a natural sanctuary, which is home to unique species, but also generate opportunities for indigenous families." Demonstrating sustainable ranching in the Andes-An additional 1,100 ranchers joined the sustainable ranching project undertaken by The Nature Conservancy and partners in Colombia. Using a healthy agricultural systems approach that focuses on increasing production while preserving natural assets-the water, soil and rich biodiversity that make productivity possible-farmers are restoring habitat while increasing production, profits and climate resilience. Six years of partnership have resulted in more than 4,000 ranchers adopting this new farming paradigm, a 17 percent increase in milk and/or beef production and a reduction of 1 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Biodiversity monitoring on farms has registered 479 species of birds-more than half as many bird species as all of the United States! Reforesting a nation-The Nature Conservancy played a leading role in designing ForestAR 2030, a new platform that unites six ministries to boost Argentina's economy and environmental sustainability through massive reforestation. This pioneering initiative will help mitigate climate change and position Argentina in the global forestry market. The goal is to reach 2 million hectares (more than 4.9 million acres) of forested land by 2030. The platform is underpinned by scientific guidelines-provided by TNC-which show that reforestation is one of the most efficient nature-based, low-cost solutions for mitigating climate change and meeting Paris climate agreement commitments. An economic case for restoring the Atlantic Forest-The Mantiqueira Restoration Project is an initiative that brings together stakeholders from 284 Brazilian municipalities located near Brazil's biggest markets-the states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais-to build a forest restoration network. The Nature Conservancy and our partners collaborated to design and implement a training program for residents on forest restoration and agroforestry systems using Atlantic Forest plants. Our goal is to enable the restoration of 1.2 million hectares (2.9 million acres) while showing that reforestation can create jobs and grow the economy. Implementing electronic traceability for fisheries-With The Nature Conservancy's support, leaders of the 500-member National Fisher's Cooperative in Belize adopted ThisFish, an electronic traceability system and a 2018 Techstars Sustainability Accelerator winner, to improve sustainability and livelihoods. Many of the cooperative's members are from small fishing communities that have relied on lobster and conch fishing for generations. Members will benefit from the new seafood sourcing technology, which allows the cooperative's staff to electronically track production by landings to individual fishers and fishing regions and keep a product inventory. The generated data will be used to make informed decisions and empower fishers to become better stewards of the sea. Securing water for a nation's capital-The water extracted annually from Mexico City aquifers is more than double their recharge, while 2 million residents have occasional access to tap water to meet their basic needs. Agua Capital (Mexico City's water fund) will improve water management and catalyze conservation in targeted watersheds and forests. Mexico City has made its water fund a cornerstone of its Resilient Cities strategy. The water fund's seven members-The Nature Conservancy, Mexichem, Citibanamex, Coca-Cola FEMSA, FEMSA Foundation, Grupo Modelo and HSBC-are providing seed capital for startup costs and an 800-hectare restoration pilot. Breaking the link between soy and deforestation-The Nature Conservancy released Agroideal, an online tool that creates transparency for the Brazilian soybean supply chain. The free tool analyzes up to 18 indicators of social and environmental risk and economic opportunity to help companies drive agriculture responsibly into previously cleared areas without disturbing the remaining natural ecosystems. The tools initially covered Brazil's Cerrado for soy commodity and actually expanded geographic cover to Amazonia and the Argentinean Chaco. The tool reinforces the Cerrado Manifesto, an urgent call to action from Brazilian nongovernmental organizations to ensure soy and beef don't contribute to deforestation, signed by a growing coalition of global companies and investors. FishPath enables fishers to be sustainable-Peru's artisanal fisheries are unregulated, resulting in the risk of overfishing and declining stocks. FishPath, developed by The Nature Conservancy and partners, is an engagement process and decision support tool that helps local fishing communities assess, monitor and manage coastal fisheries. In collaboration with Peru's Ocean Institute, TNC applied FishPath to assess "chita" (Peruvian grunt) stocks and identified the most effective rules for the fishery, including a yearly no-take season for chita during the peak of reproductive activity. FishPath also is being applied to assess five other commercially vital species. Its success has extended to produce stock assessments and management strategies for fisheries at a national scale. North America Engaging Emerald Edge indigenous communities-The Emerald Edge is the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest on Earth, spanning 100 million acres in Southeast Alaska, coastal British Columbia, and Washington state's Olympic Peninsula. It's home to more than 50 indigenous communities, whose culture and livelihood are rooted in these lands and waters and whose stewardship is crucial to its future. To succeed, we're putting the priorities of indigenous and local people first-investing in youth, generating new wealth and long-term economic resources, and creating new peer connections across the region so that people can learn from and inspire each other. Efforts advanced this year include: A community-led initiative supported by The Nature Conservancy, the Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewards (SEAS) enables transformative and lasting conservation by engaging indigenous youth and reviving traditional stewardship in Canada. Reaching more than 450 students per year, SEAS connects youth of all ages to their traditional lands and waters, as well as their culture, language and traditional role as stewards. Collaboration with indigenous partners and guardians in Canada to create the Indigenous Guardians Toolkit: a free and open online platform for indigenous communities to learn, share and connect about their on-the-ground stewardship work. Economic development with Spruce Root, a nonprofit lender with a mission to assist Southeast Alaska's people and businesses to reach their full potential through loan capital and support services that promote economic, social, cultural and environmental resiliency. Securing sea turtles on the Gulf Coast-The Kemp's ridley is the smallest and most critically endangered of the five sea turtle species that inhabit the Gulf of Mexico. North and South Padre Island off the coast of Texas provide prime nesting habitat for the species. The Nature Conservancy has conserved more than 25,000 acres in the South Padre Island region since 2000. By early 2019, we'll add more than 6,000 acres to this number in the largest conservation deal on the South Island in nearly 20 years, tapping mitigation funding from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While the northern and southern tips of Padre Island have been developed, the 90 miles of beach on which these tracts sit represent some of the largest remaining privately owned land on the world's longest barrier island.
Mapping the sea's coral reefs-By combining Nature Conservancy expertise and using the latest technology in satellite and hyperspectral imagery, we are creating the first-ever high-resolution maps of coral reefs and coastal habitat throughout the Caribbean. This will inform coral reef conservation efforts in ways never before possible. Along with Planet, a company specializing in state-of-the-art satellite imaging technologies, and the Planet and Carnegie Airborne Observatory, an aircraft with hyperspectral imaging sensors, we are piloting a new level of coral understanding in the Caribbean-providing never-before-seen detail that can support smarter planning and decision-making at the needed pace for meaningful coral action. In fiscal year 2018, we covered more than 38,000 hectares (94,000 acres) of ocean with the Carnegie Airborne Observatory. A federal fix for wildfire fight-Longer and more catastrophic wildfire seasons have become a new normal around the globe. In the United States, a policy fix was needed in order for the federal government to keep up with the increasing need for wildfire suppression while not taking funds from other critical forest restoration and conservation priorities. The Nature Conservancy led a four-year campaign for a federal funding bill to give Congress the ability to allocate up to an additional $2.95 billion each year to pay for major fires through 2027. We then rallied our executives, board members and state trustees to advocate for the bill's passage, which was successful. Guiding landowners to conservation options-The Nature Conservancy tracks every parcel of land we would like to see protected in Hawaii. Even if it will never become a TNC preserve, we work to match the landowner with the right agency and the right funding so that it receives the best long-term care. Recently we played a leading role in advocating for the transfer of 10,000 acres of native forest on the Big Island of Hawaii from McCandless Ranch to the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge. The land had been the number one national acquisition priority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the past three years. Ensuring outgoing lottery funding for nature-The Nature Conservancy was a leading partner of a coalition that worked to get the Colorado Lottery reauthorized by the state legislature in 2018. Reauthorization was among our highest priorities because the lottery-and funding for Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO)-was scheduled to end in 2025. The lottery is the sole funding source for GOCO, and reauthorization makes sure that funding continues through 2049 to invest in land protection, open spaces, and wildlife. Many of TNC's land protection projects and preserves in the state have been funded through GOCO, including Carpenter Ranch, J.E. Canyon Ranch, and Medano Zapata Ranch. Undoing dam damage for the Delaware-A team of partners led by The Nature Conservancy succeeded in removing the Columbia Lake Dam, an 18-foot-high, 330-foot-long barrier that has for more than a century degraded water quality and blocked fish passage in the Paulins Kill, the third largest New Jersey tributary to the Delaware River. The dam's effects were so negative that it was ranked in the top 5 percent of nearly 14,000 dams prioritized for removal in the Northeast. The completed $7 million dam removal and subsequent river restoration will allow people to enjoy better recreational opportunities and shad to swim freely to their spawning grounds for the first time in 109 years. A partnership for wildlife and carbon-Bridgestone Americas, Inc. donated 5,763 acres to The Nature Conservancy. The property, which will be known as the Bridgestone Nature Reserve at Chestnut Mountain, is located on the Cumberland Plateau, about 80 miles east of Nashville, Tennessee, and provides habitat to more than 100 species of conservation concern, including the golden eagle, the eastern slender glass lizard, the barking treefrog and the green salamander. The new reserve will include low-impact public access with connector trails to other protected lands in the area. The Conservancy will manage a carbon sequestration project on the property that is expected to offset carbon emissions of Bridgestone Tower, the company's corporate headquarters in downtown Nashville.