Virtual Think Tank

By blending human ingenuity with nature’s innate capabilities, individuals and groups are finding solutions to local environmental, conservation, and development challenges. How can these ideas be applied to your community or others around the world? Reflect and share your thoughts, and return to this page often as we will be adding new resources on a regular basis.


Tuning in to Local Voices

Young people use film to document locals’ responses to dwindling water supplies. Members of the Mogath, a semi-nomadic community in northeastern Uganda, convene to define the problem and hammer out solutions. Source: IUCN.

Much Buzz about Berlin’s Bees

Bees’ graphic black and yellow markings make them easy to spot, but in recent years it has become harder to see these busy workers as whole populations collapse. Two Berliners devised a creative way to increase the visibility of these insects and their essential role in the ecosystem. Source: Deutsche Welle.

Women Hold a Central Place in Land Restoration

When it comes to managing land and resources, women have an equal stake and can play a pivotal role. Encouraging female voices, knowledge, and participation is crucial when protecting local environments. Source: IUCN.

Stop the Burning

As the “Lungs of World,” rainforests are vital to human prosperity, health, and survival. We know how to halt deforestation, but do we have the wisdom to forego immediate gratification for long-term gains? Source: IUCN.

Recycling in Bali

Hindu residents of Bali, Indonesia, believe in a unity of gods, humans, and nature. On this beautiful island, however, nature is marred by trash. Locals are finding that the best way to restore harmony is by thinking small. Source: Deutsche Welle.

Riding Waves, Young People Tune in to Nature’s Rhythm

“Call someplace paradise and kiss it good-bye,” laments Kepa, an educator and cultural expert on the Hawaiian island of Maui. To teach young residents and visitors about the Hawaiian concept of Kuleana, a mix of privilege and responsibility, he launches them on a marine adventure. Source: BBC Earth.

The Miracle of Trees

“We humans, no matter how intelligent we are, no matter how capable we are, with all our technologies, we are helpless in the face of climate change,” asserts Professor Legessa Negash. Luckily, he also explains that where human enterprise falters, trees, shrubs, and grasses can prevail. Source: IUCN.


Sharing the Mekong 

The Mekong is the economic and cultural artery of Southeast Asia. When upstream dams block the flow of water, however, the consequences, along with anger and fear, ripple far downstream and bring division among peoples worried about their welfare. Source: IUCN.

Lands of Hope: Nature-based Solutions to Land Degradation

Communities that suffer from land degradation are restoring health to local environments in surprising ways. Instead of adapting with technology and innovation, they are reviving ancient and sustainable traditions. Source: IUCN.

Farming the London Way

Ashley Lydiate is growing crops in the most unlikely of spaces: the city. A resident of London and proponent of vertical farming, he wants to knit the practice of farming into the lives and homes of urban-dwellers. Source: Deutsche Welle.

Thinking Outside the Box on Human Wildlife Conflict

When farmland in Africa expanded into the wilds to feed growing human populations, crops were trampled by elephants and farm animals fell prey to lions and cheetahs. A little human ingenuity enlisted bees and dogs to negotiate peace. Source: Deutsche Welle.

Combatting the Scourge of Wildlife Trafficking

It’s big business, but deadly for animals and harmful to us all. Wildlife trafficking, killing protected species of fish, animals, or plants and selling their coveted remains on the black market, is a global crime. The practice is driving numerous species to extinction and disrupting ecosystems. Source: IUCN.

Why the World Can’t Afford to Waste its Waste

As the world’s population swells and individuals buy more goods, garbage is becoming a monstrous problem. Landfills overflow with trash, but also harbor riches, such as copper and gold. Gleaning these valuable materials can give limited resources a second life and cut the volume of waste. Source: Deutsche Welle.