Biodiversity | Wilson Center


Fishing for a Secure Future: Opportunities for Reforming Fisheries Governance

Products from fisheries are the world's most widely traded food, the net export value of which is greater than that of rice, coffee, sugar, and tea combined. Fishers in developing countries, who overwhelmingly operate on a small scale, supply 77 percent of the fish the world eats. But despite the global importance of fisheries, they suffer from poor planning, inadequate funding, and neglect by all levels of government. To address these issues, the Woodrow Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program and the U.S.

Conservation and Development: Lessons from Costa Rica

Between the 1940s and 1980s, most of Costa Rica's forests were destroyed and replaced with highly valued cattle farms and croplands. Aerial photos spanning those four decades show a country steadily going bald. "We call this the striptease of Costa Rica," joked Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, minister of environment and energy, at an event co-sponsored by the Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program and Latin American Program.

Parks for Peace or Peace for Parks? Issues in Practice and Policy

Nelson Mandela said, "I know of no political movement, no philosophy, no ideology, which does not agree with the peace parks concept as we see it going into fruition today. It is a concept that can be embraced by all." Parks for peace—transboundary conservation areas dedicated to the promotion of peace and cooperation—hold great promise and appeal, but have they lived up to this promise? Some say yes, others respectfully disagree with the former South African President's assertion.

Measuring Impact: A Review of Packard Foundation and USAID's First Generation Population-Environment Projects

Are population-environment (PE) and population-health-environment (PHE) programs more effective than single-sector approaches? Can these integrated programs improve the quality of life for Malagasy or Filipino villagers? The Packard Foundation's board of directors hired consultant John Pielemeier to answer these questions and also analyze the long-term sustainability and growth of PE/PHE programs.

Freedom: A Power for Environmental Stewardship

Secretary Gale Norton said the United States must harness innovation, ingenuity, and community spirit to care for its air, water, and wildlife. Speaking at a June 8 Director's Forum, Norton said freedom—combined with private property rights and respect for the rule of law—creates an atmosphere conducive to environmental cooperation and security.

Finding Balance: Results from a Population-Environment Success Story in Madagascar

Ecological "hotspots"—land areas richest in biodiversity and most threatened by human activity—comprise 12 percent of the planet's land surface and hold nearly 20 percent of the world's population. Madagascar, an island country off the east coast of Africa, is a prime example. With 90 percent of its natural rainforest already destroyed, Madagascar's rapid population growth of 2.9 percent annually is far outpacing its natural resources and ability to produce food.

Conservation and Care in Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains

Forced to leave their villages to work on the Khmer Rouge's collective farms, thousands of Cambodia's indigenous Khmer Daeum—traditional communities native to the Cardamom Mountains—began to return to their forest homes in the late 1990s. While the war protected the mountains' bounty from development, in the decade since hostilities ended, former soldiers, logging companies, and others have launched a new campaign of deforestation.

New Orleans: Successful Models of Consensus Building in Coastal Restoration

City Club of New Orleans
1525 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA


Robert A. Thomas, Loyola Chair in Environmental Communications, Loyola University New Orleans

Panel Moderated by Doug Meffert with:

Brent McKee, Ph. D., Director, Tulane Center for River-Ocean Studies

Val Marmillion, America's Wetlands Campaign

Troy Constance, US Army Corps of Engineers

Len Bahr, Governor's Office

Closing remarks from: