rainforest frog on flowerThomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow, United Nations FoundationWhen disaster strikes, the world turns to one organization for hope, help, leadership, and coordination: the United Nations (UN). When there is peace to keep between warring factions, the world asks the UN to mobilize peacekeepers, oversee elections, and create stability. In the face of challenges such as climate change, disease or poverty, the UN provides the platform for international cooperation. The reality is that the UN is the ONE international organization with the reach and vision capable of solving global problems. But who advises the UN about how and where money and efforts need to be directed? Thomas Lovejoy is one of those people. He is an accomplished conservation and tropical biologist and serves as a Senior Fellow of the United Nations Foundation  where he advises Foundation leaders on biodiversity and environmental science.  I invite you to join me to learn how Tom links his work with the UN’s work and others around the world, mobilizing the energy and expertise of business and non-governmental organizations to help the UN tackle issues including conservation and climate change. Big, bold, all encompassing issues which impact all our lives because we are a global community.



  • Tom Lovejoy is often referred to as the Godfather of biodiversity – the beginning of the story is Tom at age 14 in a great biology class with an amazing teacher, being inspired by the incredible diversity found in nature.
  • Connecting with nature is where living consciously (and the value of doing so in a socially just, sustainable planet) begins.
  • Tom’s first trip to the Amazon happened in the summer of 1965 – game for any scientific adventure. There he was in the largest wilderness on Earth, with more biodiversity than any other location on the planet.
  • Why should we care about the Amazon? What is its utility value – practical reasons to care? Shouldn’t the Amazon be more topical in terms of everyday conversations with people? Tom takes us on a journey of understanding and valuing the answers to these questions on this podcast.
  • We have to manage ourselves as part of the linked, living planet – to be true stewards and safe guards protecting our home.
  • How do you get people to engage in important issues – impacting their communities and our global lives? Tom shares his wisdom on this process – join us to learn more.
  • Tom created the Debt-for-Nature Swap– where was the first one done? What have been the results? He lays out all the details on this podcast!
  • What level of awareness does the average human being have of their connection to the planet? There is a gift, available to all of us, if you consider the origin of all that you come into contact with in your daily life.
  • What are the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals ? They are a way to chart our way forward to live sustainably with our home.
  • Environmental justice (often seen through the lens of social justice) – important to think about it not only in terms of how climate change/global warming impacts underprivileged communities versus privileged communities but also to think about it in terms of time. What we are doing to the planet through biodiversity destruction is the greatest environmental justice issue of all time.



Music used in this podcast is copyrighted and licensed through Turtle Island Records/Libby Roderick Music