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


Wildlife Trafficking

The first Mapping the World Public Policy Dialogue forum looked through National Geographic’s lens of Wildlife & Wild Places to facilitate conversation around the critical global issue of wildlife trafficking.

Over the past decade, wildlife trafficking has escalated into an international crisis. With billions of dollars in estimated annual revenues, the lucrative black market continues to grow and is difficult to stanch. This is not only pushing our world’s wildlife toward extinction, it is fueling corruption and political turmoil and damaging communities worldwide.

The Forum on Wildlife & Wild Places brought together National Geographic Explorer and journalist Bryan Christy and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce to discuss this critical issue. Mr. Christy shared insights drawn from the investigative reporting he has conducted around the militarization of wildlife trafficking and the people who are profiting or suffering as a result of poaching. Chairman Royce addressed the nexus between wildlife trafficking and national security.

By combining the diverse experience and expertise of these two invested parties, the public policy forum provided a space where the facts surrounding wildlife trafficking could be discussed. Please click ‘GET THE FACTS’ to view the information from the first Mapping the World Public Policy Dialogue forum event.


National Geographic Public Policy Forum

Our Changing Planet

Ocean Conservation

The second Mapping the World Public Policy Dialogue forum focused on ocean conservation through National Geographic’s Our Changing Planet lens.

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 Our Changing Planet 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 third Mapping the World Public Policy Dialogue forum will look through National Geographic’s lens of The Human Journey to address the challenges associated with and importance of preserving the world’s antiquities.

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.


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