Biodiversity conservation is critical for ensuring the diversity of living organisms, including terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Diverse assemblages of organisms are collectively the guardians of nature's services to humans, such as clean water, abundant food, a stable climate and culture. Brazil is the most biodiverse country in the world. The International Institute for Sustainability works to conserve biodiversity through its projects, considering not only its environmental but also its social and economic values.
Global climate change is one of the biggest problems facing humanity today. The complexity of the scientific understanding of this phenomenon generates uncertainty, which makes it difficult to identify adaptation changes. IIS's work on climate change has focus on scaling adaptation, especially in cities.
Ecosystem restoration is vital to reducing and reversing historical human impacts on the environment, and can mitigate climate change, conserve biodiversity, and improve the quality of life for society through providing ecosystem services. A science-based approach to ecosystem restoration is critical for guiding restoration, and requires interdisciplinary research from theoretical and practical approaches. The importance of this work has grown exponentially in recent years.
IIS's mission is to promote the transition to sustainability by contributing to the balance between socio-economic development and biodiversity conservation and rational use of natural resources, with the aim of meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising future generations.
Soil is the basis for the development of diverse life forms and plays a critical role for society by providing ecosystem services. In addition, it is full of stories that recount the way human beings have interacted with the earth. Over the last few centuries, this relationship between man and soil has become increasingly problematic, resulting in a high level of landscape transformation and degradation. These changes in land use and land cover have compromised the functioning of ecosystems with impacts on biogeochemical and hydrological cycles, which directly affect the climate and the provisioning of ecosystem services.
The projects developed by IIS are intended to strengthen the balance between the economy and the environment. The work of IIS includes research, planning, management and promotional activities in the public and private sectors, focusing on the relationship between ecological, social and economic systems. Economic analysis is used as a tool to optimize the means of production and public policies, as well as value and conserve natural heritage under a sustainable development perspective.
IIS supports the formulation of public policies focused on sustainability, as well as the implementation of practical actions, working in partnership with public sector agencies such as the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment.
Whether identifying areas at high risk of future deforestation or areas that have the highest value for conservation or restoration, landscape modelling and monitoring allows the identification of patterns and trends of social and ecological systems. These trends can provide quantitative statistics and mapped scenarios that directly inform decision making.