July 2014

Natural Resources

In this issue

Nature doesn’t require much from people. But since leaving it untouched to flourish on its own is rarely an option anymore, the next best thing is thoughtful management that preserves natural resources and distributes the bounty fairly. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) can do this.

This issue of Handshake focuses on natural resource PPPs that are making a difference. In Cartagena, Colombia, we profile a hybrid public-private agency that has standardized water service to residents while restoring the coast—and in the process, contributed to political stabilization. Around Africa’s Lake Victoria, an environmental management initiative with the potential to reduce the pollution and resource footprint of industrial activities demonstrates how to include commercial ventures in conservation. Original articles from the FAO and The Rockefeller Foundation outline how Payments for Ecosystem Services, or PES, brings PPPs’ benefits directly to farmers, fishers, and those who maintain forests.

We also draw inspiration from the thoughtfulness of conservationists who know the path forward depends on partnerships. From 2014 Stockholm Water Laureate John Briscoe, who has spent his career making sure taps are turned on, to science correspondent M. Sanjayan, whose call to action came in the rainy forest of Sierra Leone, to Jean-Michel Cousteau, who founded the Ocean Futures Society to carry on his family’s stewardship of the sea, the interviews in Handshake give voice to the ways people are connected to nature, and how our survival depends on the continuation of this connection.