Science for Policy

Innovative Conservation Science to Meet the Challenges of our Time

This month, 196 countries will meet in Montreal, Canada for the UN Biodiversity COP15 with the goal of creating a new global framework for nature conservation—providing a rallying point for transformative change.

The Nature Conservancy calls for global agreement to curb the drivers of wildlife and habitat loss and leverage nature-based solutions for climate. The following science shows it’s possible to make these changes at scale and to create a future that’s truly durable for people and the planet.

Learn more about our Nature Now global policy campaign at

Biodiversity + Climate Change

Two crises pose a serious threat to life on Earth: the climate change crisis and the nature crisis. They are intrinsically linked. Natural ecosystems play a fundamental role in climate change mitigation, from strengthening the capacity of low-lying areas to withstand storms, to building resilience to drought, floods and fire.

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Biodiversity + Protected Areas

Protections should be placed in areas scientifically identified as having the highest conservation value and that represent the planet’s biodiversity. But protected areas alone are not enough without science-based management. A protected area that has lost most of its large mammals, birds and trees through illegal activities cannot fully contribute to reducing extinction rates.

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30x30 Protected Areas

TNC supports a new deal for nature calling for 30 percent of ocean, land and water to be managed as intact and fully functional natural ecosystems. It’s not enough to draw lines on a map—we need to improve the design, management, financing and interconnectivity of these critical areas that sustain us all.  

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Biodiversity + Indigenous Peoples

Biodiversity + Siting

Very little of the planet is truly "untouched"—95 percent of the Earth's surface outside of the polar regions has been modified by humans. Whether it’s clearing land to grow crops and build cities, or fragmenting habitats with highways and railroads, human development has changed the surface of the planet in a variety of ways.

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Biodiversity + Cities

Science to help plan cities with nature in mind. With nearly 70 percent of the world’s population expected to live in urban areas by 2050, cities are swelling to accommodate newcomers. It is and will be necessary to integrate biodiversity protection into development, but a new deal for nature should establish national incentives for nature-based solutions in urban areas.

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Biodiversity + the Ocean

Science to protect, restore and manage marine ecosystems by creating high seas and coastal havens where nature can regenerate and fortify itself against climate change and other threats.

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Biodiversity + Fresh Water

Biodiversity + Agriculture

Science for Sustainable Food Production.When it comes to the climate and biodiversity crises, the agricultural sector is both challenge and solution. Science shows many of the most productive approaches to farming work with nature and promote mutually beneficial relationships between food production and the ecological processes that sustain it.

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Biodiversity + Restoration