Save the date! The Salazar Center’s fifth-annual International Symposium is on October 11– 12, 2023. 

Across the globe, biodiversity – the rich variety of life on the planet – is deteriorating faster than at any other time in human history. North America is no exception: over 30% of its biodiversity has declined since 1970. This devastating trend threatens organisms, ecosystems, and the benefits that they provide like carbon capture, clean air to breathe, and clean water to drink. In fact, more than half of the world’s GDP is moderately or highly dependent on nature and the services it provides to humanity, making biodiversity loss one of the top five risks to the global economy. 

At the same time, climate change continues to put people and nature under severe stress. Experts around the world acknowledge that climate change and nature loss are inseparable crises and must be addressed urgently and holistically for the benefit of both the planet and people— especially poor and marginalized communities, who are already being impacted disproportionately.  Many North American communities—are working hard to address climate change and biodiversity loss. Whether you are helping to plant trees in your neighborhood, working to remove toxins in your local river, restoring a wetland, or protecting a forest, you are making a difference. But how do we magnify these efforts in order to create a net-positive impact? How do we work together to create the systemic change that enables a world where nature is being restored and is regenerating rather than declining? We urgently need actions, strategies, and approaches that can help solve these intertwined crises at scale. 

In response to this crucial moment, the Salazar Center’s fifth annual International Symposium on Conservation Impact is focused on nature-positive solutions and how they can catapult our communities towards durable, high-impact outcomes for climate, biodiversity, and human well-being. Nature-positive solutions are increasingly being recognized as critical tools to making progress towards both climate and biodiversity goals, and countries around the world have committed to measurable targets and funding to help reach them.  

The Symposium will bring together diverse thought leaders from across North America to share their insights on how to move beyond individual projects to lasting systemic change that will drive a nature-positive future. The event will use keynote presentations, curated panel discussions, and interactive breakout sessions to facilitate honest dialogue around issues such as: 

  • How can we design and implement nature-positive solutions to ensure more equitable outcomes for communities and people? How do we ensure these solutions benefit not only nature but also human well-being? 
  • How do we break down silos to ensure better outcomes for climate, nature, and people? 
  • How do Indigenous-led projects provide innovations for a nature-positive world? 
  • How can nature-positive approaches help the U.S., Canada, and Mexico meet their national conservation & climate targets? What are the strengths and weaknesses of taking a nature-positive approach when addressing these goals?  
  • What is the role of multilateral cooperation across the continent in creating the enabling conditions for more durable outcomes and to help scale-up local efforts?  
  • In what ways is the private sector working to promote and fund long-lasting and effective solutions to solve both climate and nature challenges? What do we need to do to transform our economic systems to support nature-positive outcomes? 

The Symposium will showcase existing efforts across sectors and the continent. Attendees will learn about high-level challenges and opportunities that we all face in trying to solve these environmental crises. After attending the Symposium, participants will be able to bring best practices, resources, and new ideas on how to implement and scale Nature Positive Solutions in their work and communities back home. Not to mention a network of like-minded colleagues who are willing to learn and share knowledge during the Symposium and beyond.

There is an African proverb that goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” We hope that you will join us in Denver, Colorado so we can work together to realize a nature-positive future for North America. 

Stay tuned for more details about the event agenda. Registration will open in June 2023. Subscribe to the Center’s newsletter to get updates sent to your inbox.