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Contributing Author

Land, Wildlife & Urbanization: CLASSY Awards Top 5

Human activity like deforestation, urbanization, unsustainable agricultural practices and landfills threaten the future livelihood of our planet and wildlife. These programs deal specifically with the negative effects brought on by human activity, like deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, unsustainable development, displace and injured wildlife, overhunting, poaching, and water crisis. View the key indicators of this subcategory here.


Endangered Species
Center for Biological Diversity
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING There are 1,500 species recognized as endangered and in need of protection in the US.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Endangered Species
Program Name

United States
Location

2003
Start date

Noah Greenwald
Program Director

@CenterForBioDiv[/su_pullquote]

The endangered species program uses science, law and advocacy to gain Endangered Species Act protection for species and their habitats, including wolves, bears, owls and more. The Endangered Species Act has a 99-percent success rate in preventing extinction and has put hundreds of species on the path to recovery, but the law works only for species that are designated as endangered. In 2011, the program, run by 17 scientists, lawyers and advocates, reached a settlement agreement with the government that has resulted in the protection of 105 species, including the Oregon spotted frog, sage grouse and American wolverine. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Noah Greenwald, Program Director” class=”top5″]The loss of species in North America and across the globe is occurring at an alarming rate with serious consequences for people and the planet. Species provide important services to society such as pollinating crops, are a source of food and medicine and provide us with amusement, joy and beauty. [/su_quote]


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Bring Back the Pollinators Campaign
The Xerces Society
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING Nearly 85% of the world’s flowering plants depend upon pollinators to reproduce, including more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species. Without bees, the cost of fruits and vegetables would increase dramatically. This ecological service is at risk from habitat losses, as well as pesticide use. Today, 33% of bumble bee species in North America are facing the threat of extinction.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Bring Back the Pollinators Campaign
Program Name

United States
Location

2012
Start date

Mace Vaughan
Program Director

@xerces_society[/su_pullquote]

Using science and advocacy, Xerces works to restore and manage habitat for pollinators by training farmers, conservationists, agricultural agency staff, and the public on how they can protect, restore, and manage homes and farms for bees. In partnership with Rutgers University, the program works with scientists, including Dr. Rachael Winfree, to translate scientific data on pollinators. They then take that data and, in partnership with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, reach out to farmers with educational resources to implement pollinator and other beneficial insect habitat conservation projects. In 2013, the program trained 8,000 farmers, land managers and citizen scientists on how to provide habitat for pollinators and how to change their pesticide habits. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Dr. Rufus Isaacs, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University” class=”top5″]It’s really stunning to think of how much impact the Xerces Society has had for the benefit of pollinators in the relatively short time that this program has been running. Your organization is the ‘go-to’ place for pollinator conservation information and expertise. [/su_quote]

The Bring Back the Pollinators campaign has protected over 120,000 acres for pollinators, trained over 26,000 farmers and agricultural professionals, and is providing for long term adoption of policies that will benefit pollinators long into the future.
The Bring Back the Pollinators campaign has protected over 120,000 acres for pollinators, trained over 26,000 farmers and agricultural professionals, and is providing for long term adoption of policies that will benefit pollinators long into the future.

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Sustainable Farming Extension
Sustainable Harvest International (SHI)
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING More than 1 million people in Panama have access to land but insufficient knowledge to farm it in a productive and sustainable manner. 98% of the population grows three or four crops using slash-and-burn farming, which produces inadequate nutrition and income, degrades the environment and leads to increased deforestation.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Sustainable Farming Extension
Program Name

Cocle Province, Panama
Location

1997
Start date

Amanda ZehnerProgram Director

@SHILaCosecha[/su_pullquote]

SHI was established with the knowledge that slash-and-burn was, and continues to be, a leading cause of tropical deforestation. Though sustainable organic farming practices increase yields dramatically, only 2.6% of rural, poor farmers receive the technical assistance that would allow them to make their farms sufficiently productive. The Sustainable Farming Extension provides farmers in Panama with five phases of farm improvements, including individualized farm plans, on-farm technical assistance and workshops on agro-ecology practices, wood-conserving stove construction, organic gardening, market and business development, reforestation, irrigation, small livestock husbandry and natural resource management. The Damak stove was created to provide women with an inexpensive, safe and efficient cook stove. Adapted from other wood-conserving stove designs, the stove cuts firewood use by up to 75% and eliminates severe health problems associated with smoke inhalation. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Amanda Zehner, Program Director” class=”top5″]By providing rural families with regular assistance from a local trainer over the course of five years, families learn to produce a healthy diet for themselves and income from their farms through sustainable organic farming practices that protect forests, soils, water sources and family health. [/su_quote]
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Americas Center for Sustainability
Conservation International Foundation
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING Amazonia shelters as much as a third of Earth’s species, including 30,000 plants unique to the region. Cutting and burning has transformed 20% of the Amazon, replacing trees with cattle, crops and roads. Each year, the region loses 28,000 square kilometers of forest area, or approximately the size of Haiti. Agriculture, mining and infrastructural expansion often imply massive deforestation; there are currently 600,000 hectares of threatened habitat in the Amazon.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Americas Center for Sustainability
Program Name

The Amazon, Brazil
Location

1987
Start date

Fabio Scarano
Program Director

@ConservationOrg[/su_pullquote]

Americas Center for Sustainability addresses the threat to habitat in South America, specifically the Amazon, by facilitating the exchange of conservation and development models across the region. The program first creates protected areas, then improves management of those areas by promoting best practices in business, including zero biodiversity loss, mitigation, biodiversity offsets, and social safeguards. The Kayapó people, an indigenous group in Brazil, control, legally and physically, a 10.5 million hectares block of the Amazonian. Conservation International began a partnership with the group in the early 1990’s, which has allowed them to preserve the land and establish the Kayapó Fund, an endowment fund that will support terrestrial monitoring and protection of Kayapó land, as well as the development of sustainable economic activities for the Kayapó people. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Fabio Scarano, Program Director” class=”top5″]The Center is a catalyst and facilitator of a network of solutions for sustainable development, especially in the Amazon. The Center helps find, build, promote and export solutions for sustainable development. [/su_quote]
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Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI)
Health In Harmony
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING Communities around Gunung Palung National Park watershed in Indonesia are trapped in a vicious cycle of extreme poverty, poor health, and environmental degradation. Local people, predominately small farmers earning an average of $0.44 a day, are driven in times of crisis to illegally log the rain forests, threatening the soil, water, and air quality and exacerbating health issues.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI)
Program Name

Sukadana, West Kalimantan, and Borneo, Indonesia
Location

2007
Start date

Dr. Kinari Webb
Program Director

@HinH05[/su_pullquote]

ASRI addresses the root causes of poverty and environmental degradation in the Sukadana, West Kalimantan, and Borneo areas of Indonesia. The program provides health-based incentives and affordable health insurance to drive conservational activities. Their cross-sector solution has been able to address illegal logging by allowing the community to step in. In collaborative community meetings, local people identify the solutions to their major challenges and ASRI provides the technical expertise and resources communities need to use their natural resources sustainably. The program has made outstanding progress against habitat degradation in the community. Since 2007, active logging households have decreased by 68% and organic farmers are producing higher yields with cheaper inputs. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Dr. Kinari Webb, Program Director” class=”top5″]The combination of poverty, ill health, and environmental degradation exists across the globe; therefore our model could be applied in many other locations. The deciding factor for implementing our program is community buy-in: the local people must already wish to protect their natural resources and want to work with us to do so. [/su_quote]


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The Environment Experts

The Leadership Council is an honorary board comprised of a diverse group of experts that will collectively determine the winners of the CLASSY Awards in this cause sector. Their unique perspective and valuable insight establishes this recognition as one of the highest honors in the social sector.

LC_environment - FINAL
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Photo credit: Conservation International Foundation

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