By 2020, CI has a better understanding of the importance of nature for people’s livelihoods and uses this information to guide conservation and sustainable development policy, investment, and field activities within CI and across the conservation sector.

Conserving natural ecosystems and simultaneously sustaining the rural communities who depend on these ecosystems is a major challenge for the conservation and development community. To effectively balance conservation goals with livelihood needs, more information is needed on the role that natural ecosystems play in the livelihoods of resource-dependent communities, the potential tradeoffs and synergies across conservation and livelihood goals, and the potential for implementing sustainable livelihood activities that promote nature conservation.  This strategic initiative will examine the relationships between nature conservation and local livelihoods in the regions where CI works, so that effective policies, projects and approaches can be designed to reconcile conservation and livelihood goals. Our efforts will improve approaches for integrating livelihood needs into conservation policies, planning, and implementation, and help guide strategic investments to sustainable livelihood activities that are compatible with conservation outcomes.


Advance scientific understanding of relationships among natural ecosystems, rural livelihoods, and livelihood-based conservation strategies, and identify strategies that can improve livelihoods while conserving natural ecosystems.

Translate scientific insights into CI policy engagement, programs, and investments in sustainable livelihoods initiatives. 

Build capacities necessary to advance the science and practice of sustainable livelihood strategies.


Images © Cristina Mittermeir