The U.S. Congressional International Conservation Caucus and The ICCF Group have made, over the past decade, profoundly useful contributions to boosting American leadership in international conservation.
Some developing countries have made the transition to middle-income status and are beginning to accept more responsibility for protection and good management of their own natural resources. However, during a transition period likely to stretch for another generation, natural values in many developing countries will remain dependent to some degree upon help from outside: from multilateral bodies like the GEF and World Bank, from private conservation groups, and from Official Development Assistance (ODA) donors led by the United States.
ICCF's "Partners in Conservation" is an annual publication highlighting the partners and affiliates in the private and nonprofit spheres, who have and continue to go beyond the call of duty in addressing international issues that impact food and water security, global health, natural security, poverty alleviation and sustainable economic development. Such entities include companies such as 3M, AngloGold Ashanti, Bumble Bee Seafoods, The Coca-Cola Company, ExxonMobil, International Paper, Nestlé, Unilever and Volkswagen.
Governments, communities, and businesses are changing the way they think about natural resources, focusing on the value of these resources as "natural wealth" and on their conservation as a sound investment intended to generate measurable social and environmental impacts as well as financial returns.
The world faces many challenges in the coming years. The global population has reached 7.2 billion people, all of whom hope and long for a more prosperous future. However, with increase prosperity, the consumption of a limited amount of resources becomes more and more apparent. These natural resource challenges must be faced with an entrepreneurial and solutions-driven attitude.
The links between healthy natural systems and our own well-being extend beyond protection from natural hazards. The vast majority of medicines are derived from wild plant and animal species. It is estimated that more than one-half of all medicines developed today are based on natural sources like rainforest plants and marine sponges. Most of the global population relies on medicines derived from nature...
Underpinning U.S. power and the world’s largest national economy are remarkably productive natural systems—forests and wetlands, coral reefs and fisheries—wonderfully complex living networks that give us clean air, clean water, and ample supplies of fish, wood products, and other assets. The availability of sufficient natural resource supplies to any one country or region has rippling effects across the world...
ICCF has made great strides in expanding its Conservation Council — uniting leading international conservation organizations with the best corporate conservation leaders in an effort to ensure that conservation issues are properly understood and addressed by U.S. policymakers. (...) Long-term development is only possible through understanding and utilizing good natural resource management know-how, and the costs of failure are unacceptable.
The first issue of the ICCF Partners in Conservation portfolio. It is a compendium of projects put forth by our Conservation Council members as examples of the best international conservation work conducted in partnership. Most reflect the strength of unions forged between public and private sectors – U.S. and foreign governments, corporations, and non-governmental organizations.
International Conservation Quarterly
Our annual Gala is the most important gathering of conservationists from the corporate, NGO, and government communities to promote U.S. leadership in the sound management of the world's natural resources. The 500 guests at the Gala include international heads of state, members of the U.S. Cabinet, as many as 80 Members of Congress, world business leaders, American celebrities, and leaders from the international NGO community. This impressive cross-sectoral audience offers an unparalleled opportunity for special guest speakers to simultaneously address the largest bipartisan caucus on Capitol Hill, numerous high-level foreign delegations, and influential business and conservation leaders about the need for U.S. and international conservation engagement, cooperation, and action.
The U.S. Congress has a rich history of appropriating funds for international forest, wildlife, and oceans conservation and is currently providing assistance to the developing world towards long-term management of natural resources for food, freshwater, and economic security as well as conflict avoidance. These efforts complement those of great leaders in many nations around the world, and it’s in this context that the 2015 ICCF U.S. Congressional Gala honored the Prince of Wales, for his story, his accomplishments, and his truly extraordinary conservation leadership.
The rapid growth of African economies and the multinational scramble for access to their natural resource wealth have been accompanied by a competition for influence, at times at the expense of the best interests of local peoples as well as America's economic and strategic goals in the continent. For the United States, supporting conservation in Africa is an investment in the free, prosperous, and peaceful international system that fundamentally serves its highest national aims.
The 2012 U.S. Congressional International Conservation Gala was held on April 24, 2012 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. The Gala celebrated the launch of the Oceans Caucus Foundation and introduced its unique approach to conservation: bringing together leaders of industry, the conservation community, and U.S. Congressional leadership to increase the long-term benefits derived from the oceans' natural assets.
The 2010 U.S. Congressional International Conservation Gala was held on September 22, 2010 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. The focus of the Gala was "The Natural Security Challenge." ICCF's newest initiative, the Conservation Council of Nations, was formally announced, and the 22 Founding Partners were recognized.
The 2009 U.S. Congressional International Conservation Inauguration Gala, honoring President Barack Obama and First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama & Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, was held on January 19, 2009 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. The more than 600 participants included dozens of Members of the U.S. Congress, leaders from the corporate and NGO communities, members of the Administration, ambassadors and high-level representatives of more than 20 foreign nations, conservation philanthropists, and American celebrities.
The second annual U.S. Congressional International Conservation Gala was held on September 18, 2007 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. The event united nearly 500 of the most dedicated conservationists among leaders in the U.S. Congress, the Administration, the business and NGO communities, and individual philanthropists to celebrate the expanding and diversifying base of support for the work of the ICCF, including the growth of both the ICCF Conservation Council and the U.S. Congressional International Conservation Caucuses.