• Today, over 7 billion people inhabit the Earth, which may grow to 10 billion people by 2050.

    Is there a sustainable path forward?

© Tim Franco | INSTITUTE

Planning for a Sustainable Tomorrow

How The Nature Conservancy Global Lands is “moving the needle” with Science

To understand the path forward (solutions), we first need to know our starting point (current land modification) and then what risks may lie ahead (future development threats). Using the most recent and comprehensive data, The Nature Conservancy Global Lands scientists produced global maps of current human modification of the Earth’s lands and future threats of development expansion. Our hope is that these data and maps help to steer sustainable development and conservation efforts in landscapes that support nature and people.

Current Land Modification

How modified is the Earth’s surface by humans?

© Jassen Todorov

FUTURE Land Conversion

What’s at risk and where?

© Joe Kiesecker


What can be done?

© Erin Delawalla

© Nick Hall | TNC

© Nick Hall

A Success Story

Vision of Beauty for Mongolia’s Ocean of Grasses

Balancing cultural heritage, habitat, and sustainable development in Mongolia

Mongolia is a place of spectacular natural beauty with strong cultural heritage and some of the world’s last great deserts and grasslands.  Still undeveloped, it is home to rolling steppes, abundant wildlife and people with a strong connection to the land.  But change is coming quickly to Mongolia.  the country’s mining and infrastructure projects are supporting economic development, but they also have the potential to impact wildlife and traditional communities that live of the land.

Using the science and planning methods of Development by Design, the Conservancy is working with the Mongolian government, industry and local communities to create a blue print for sustainable development throughout the country.