In 2003, I was one of the founding members of the International Conservation Caucus. The mission of this caucus is to help the United States lead public and private international partnerships that provide stewardship of natural resources for habitat and bio-diversity protection, poverty reduction, economic development and regional security.
Conservation is an American Value
Since the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872, the world's first nationally protected park, conservation has been a truly American value. Conservation, Theodore Roosevelt insisted, is democratic in its essence, in that national parks preserve our natural heritage for all people. He urged us to consume with restraint, because the wildlife and natural resources in our land belong not only to us, but the generations of Americans that come after us.
Conservation as an Essential Tenet of Foreign Policy
History has taught us that natural resources can and often will be a source of violent conflict. Population growth and consumption patterns reveal that the likelihood of armed conflict over food, water, minerals, and energy will increase dramatically in the future. We must change how we live and interact with nature, because our fate is inextricably tied together with it. For the parts of the world not ready to make the necessary changes, we must help, because we are all in this together.