The United States Capitol in Washington, DC, USA.
Washington, DC, USA. The United States Capitol in Washington, DC, USA. © Devan King/The Nature Conservancy

Newsroom

Statement on Events at the United States Capitol

The Nature Conservancy’s CEO, Jennifer Morris, addressed all staff about the violence and breach at the U.S. Capitol Building

The following statement was made by The Nature Conservancy’s CEO, Jennifer Morris:

“I was not on Capitol Hill on January 6. But I do call Washington, D.C. home. And like many of you, I scrolled through endless pictures on Twitter and watched the news footage depicting the violence in D.C. and elsewhere in the U.S. 

“When rioters violently broke into the U.S. Capitol, they were not only attacking the building. They were attacking the principles that are core to American democracy. This display of violence and force was deeply disturbing on many levels. And we also know that it’s not unique. Our colleagues in Peru, Brazil, and other places around the world have recently experienced similar acts of unrest and violence. I know this is more difficult to process given the isolation many of us are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“For 70 years, The Nature Conservancy has worked with government leaders in countries around the world to enact policies that help protect and restore nature. We are proud of our history of collaboration and our non-partisan approach, but let me be clear: We are appalled by these attacks against American democracy and attempts to overturn a free and fair election. 

“Creating lasting change for a more sustainable planet requires resilient public institutions. We are heartened that our elected officials quickly resumed their work to certify the vote for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Differences of opinion and civil discourse strengthen our democracy; however, the violent attacks against our institutions undermine so much that we hold dear, including our ability to address the climate emergency and biodiversity loss with the urgency they require.

“It is also painful to see the side-by-side comparisons of how law enforcement treated Black Lives Matter protestors compared to their treatment of the extremist pro-Trump groups. And I know this pain is felt much more deeply by people of color who continue to suffer the effects of racism based on the color of their skin. It is tragic, and underscores how much work we have to do to become a fairer and more just society – hard work that we are committed to doing in our own organization as well. 

“For all these reasons –for our humanity, justice, security, way of life, and our shared planet –we condemn such violent actions and stand up for the principles and values that guide our work to create a world where people and nature thrive.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.