Our Mission and Impact

In the face of climate change and other threats to our planet we’re working urgently to protect wild places – for the long term

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Our mission

Nature and Culture International works side-by-side with local cultures to protect biodiverse hotspots in Latin America for the well-being of our planet.

Bringing people together to save wild places.

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We’re local

Our strategy has always been to partner with local and Indigenous communities to protect nature. Over 80% of our staff lives in and works in the areas we protect. As trusted neighbors, we foster solutions that originate with local people. This gives our donors the most effective direct opportunity to help save wild places.

We’re making an impact

Protected 25 million acres…and counting

Saving wild places is our niche, we work with communities, cultures, and local governments to declare protected areas. Then we monitor and conserve those areas for the long term.

3.4 billion tons of carbon stored

The ecosystems we protect are critical carbon stores – many storing billions of tons. Carbon sequestration and storage are vital in our planet’s race to keep global warming below 2° celsius.

20 Indigenous and local cultures supported

Around 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity is found on Indigenous lands. They have been, and continue to be nature’s greatest guardians.

111 Municipal Water Sources Protected

Nature & Culture harnesses the basic human need for clean, abundant water to drive conservation.

Support from around the globe

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Our story is one of hope

In the early 1990s, Ivan Gayler was flying over the Amazon and he saw a web of logging roads and fires burning the lush forests. The sight brought him to tears and moved him to action.

“The world’s last great ecosystem was disappearing before my eyes.”

From the beginning, he recognized that conservation needed to happen at the local level, and he partnered with a local Ecuadorian conservationist and visionary, Renzo Paladines, and Nature and Culture International was born.

Nature and Culture now boasts an incredible team of over 150 local conservationists, legal professionals, and mapping experts working to save critical ecosystems throughout Latin America.

Since its inception, it has been the mission of Nature and Culture to work together with local cultures to save wild places.


With Nature and Culture, you can protect the largest remaining areas of biological and cultural diversity in the world. Nature needs us all to work together to save these critical ecosystems.