National Geographic Mapping The WorldMapping The World

The world population will exceed 9 billion by 2050, more than doubling the 1980 global populace. As this figure grows, tensions continue to amass surrounding access to the resources that feed and water, shelter, employ, and power our communities. This worldwide strain is projected from the global onto the national policy level, creating often divisive domestic debates around the best solutions to these universal problems.

As our nation’s environmental and human challenges grow more complex, National Geographic is strengthening its commitment to lending its expertise and trusted, independent perspective to advance the dialogue around critical issues affecting physical and human geography. The Society sponsors the National Geographic Mapping the World Public Policy Dialogue to bring National Geographic Explorers together with high-ranking officials in the new administration and leaders in Congress.

The ongoing public policy forum series creates a dialogue and space where facts can be discussed and solutions developed, focusing through National Geographic’s three lenses of human and physical geography: (1) Wildlife & Wild Places, (2) Our Changing Planet, and (3) The Human Journey.




National Geographic Public Policy Forum



The Forum on Nature Preservation will look through National Geographic’s lens of Wildlife & Wild Places to facilitate a conversation about the critical role of public lands in the United States. There are roughly 640 million acres of public land in our nation. From promoting an annual outdoor recreation economy of nearly $900 billion dollars and generating 7.6 million American jobs to protecting the intangible and irreplaceable beauty of our nation’s landscapes and wildlife, these lands play an essential role in wildlife migration, outdoor recreation, cultural heritage, and beyond.

The Forum on Nature Preservation will bring together National Geographic Explorer Arthur Middleton and Senator Cory Gardner for a dialogue around why these lands matter to the wildlife and wild places Americans value and what we need to do to strengthen and preserve them for future generations.


National Geographic Public Policy Forum

Our Changing Planet

Ocean Conservation

The Forum on Ocean Conservation looked through National Geographic’s lens of Our Changing Planet to discuss why we should and how we can protect our world’s oceans.

Covering 71 percent of the Earth, supplying at least half of its oxygen, regulating our global climate, and providing us with access to seafood and recreational activities, the ocean is our planet’s life support system. However, chronic overfishing, coral reef bleaching, and other major issues are leaving this important ecosystem and global resource increasingly at risk.

The Forum on Ocean Conservation brought together Dr. Enric Sala-National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence and leader of the Pristine Seas project-and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Senate Oceans Caucus Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. During the forum, Dr. Sala and Senator Whitehouse combined resources and their individual ocean conservation backgrounds to shape a meaningful dialogue focused on discussing the facts and finding ways to unite science, storytelling, and public policy to conserve our world’s oceans.

Please click ‘GET THE FACTS’ to view the resources from the second Mapping the World Public Policy Dialogue forum event.


National Geographic Public Policy Forum

The Human Journey

Antiquities Preservation

The Forum on Antiquities Preservation will look through National Geographic’s lens of The Human Journey to address the challenges associated with and importance of preserving the objects of our past.

Archaeology provides a map of the human journey that gives us a window into our heritage and a sense of belonging to our place within history. However, archaeologists face the daunting task of protecting our world’s irreplaceable artifacts and structures from threats ranging from extreme weather to human conflict.

The Forum on The Human Journey will facilitate a conversation between a National Geographic Explorer and a D.C. lawmaker about what we can learn from the relics of our past and the dangers posed to these irreplaceable artifacts by human conflict and other threats today. The dialogue on The Human Journey will convene a robust discussion about the important role antiquities preservation plays in establishing an understanding of the human narrative and preserving our cultural record.


Interested in learning more about the Mapping the World Public Policy Dialogue? Send us a note below.

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