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Breaking down barriers to conservation

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Our Mission

Applying the Smithsonian’s cultural and scientific expertise to achieve outcomes truly consequential to sustaining Earth’s biodiversity and ecosystems.

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What We Do

Engage a wide spectrum of audiences, across disciplines, needed to fully integrate conservation science and practice into everyday actions – from fields and ponds to whole global systems.

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What is the Smithsonian Conservation Commons?

The Smithsonian Conservation Commons is an action network within the Smithsonian Institution (SI), highlighting the relevance of science and innovative interdisciplinary approaches across science and culture to on-the-ground conservation worldwide. The Commons scales up the reach and impact of the wealth of scientific information regarding conservation produced and managed by its 9 research centers, 19 museums and the National Zoo. By taking advantage of SI’s ability to transform complex scientific research into powerful communication tools, the Commons is rapidly becoming a unique platform for public education and awareness.

Although the overall trend in the natural world is still negative, there is reason for optimism — new and tested approaches that are working, and the rise of new generations with a fresh outlook in search of visionary and inspirational leadership.

The Conservation Commons, as part of the Smithsonian’s broader Strategic Plan, is harnessing the might of the Smithsonian and major partner institutions to build a global community of practice that breaks down barriers to:

The Conservation Commons is led by:

Who are we and how do I get in touch?

For inquiries, please contact us at ConservationCommons@si.edu or at 202-633-5074.

Researchers, administrators, educators, and other experts from across the Smithsonian Institution supported by:

Core Team

Core Plus Team

Steering Committee

Where do we work?

Visit Smithsonian Global to discover how our people and programs are making a difference across the world.

Why is this idea necessary?

Globally, billions of dollars are aimed at mitigating, offsetting, or recovering from environmental damage caused by human impacts, too often without robust backing from evidence-based research science. Smithsonian, with diverse, deeply-rooted expertise and unparalleled outreach impact, is uniquely positioned to effect and support transformations in human attitudes and approaches applied towards outcomes benefitting nature and conservation, forging lasting solutions addressing the Global Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030.

What are the Conservation Action Areas?

The Conservation Commons catalyzes and facilitates programming to impact conservation all over the world. A growing set of Conservation Action Areas advances this work:

Who should be involved?

Conservation Commons has opportunities for everyone! We invite you to: