World Resources Institute
The World Resources Institute (WRI) is an environmental think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

 founded in 1982 based in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...


WRI is an independent, non-partisan and nonprofit organization with a staff of more than 100 scientists, economists, policy experts, business analysts, statistical analysts, mapmakers, and communicators developing and promoting policies with the intention of protecting the Earth and improving people’s lives.

WRI organizes its work around four key goals:
  • Climate, Energy & Transport. Protect the global climate system from further harm due to emissions of greenhouse gases and help humanity and the natural world adapt to unavoidable climate change
    Climate change
    Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

  • Governance & Access: Guarantee public access to information and decisions regarding natural resources and the environment.
  • Markets & Enterprise: Harness markets and enterprise to expand economic opportunity and protect the environment.
  • People & Ecosystems: Reverse rapid degradation of ecosystems and assure their capacity to provide humans with needed goods and services.

WRI is probably best known for its biennial publication, the World Resources report, a well-regarded collection of data and in-depth analysis on current environmental issues. The most recent edition of World Resources, entitled The Wealth of the Poor: Managing Ecosystems to Fight Poverty, explored the importance of good ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

 management for the alleviation of rural poverty. The report is a collaborative product of World Resources Institute with the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

, United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Environment Programme
The United Nations Environment Programme coordinates United Nations environmental activities, assisting developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices. It was founded as a result of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in June 1972 and has its...

 and United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Development Programme
The United Nations Development Programme is the United Nations' global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP operates in 177 countries, working with nations on their own solutions to...


WRI's mission

WRI's mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth's environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.


  • 1982. James Gustave (Gus) Speth
    James Gustave (Gus) Speth
    James Gustave Speth is an American environmental lawyer and advocate.-Biography:He was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina in 1942. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University in 1964, attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and graduated from Yale Law School, where he was a member of...

    launches WRI with an investment from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
  • 1984. WRI convenes the Global Possible Conference of 75 experts and leaders in science, government, industry, agriculture, energy, and environmental studies from 20 countries to develop a set of practical proposals to address pressing global environmental and development issues.
  • 1985. WRI helps organize the first international meeting in Villach, Austria, on the build up of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • 1986. Recognizing a serious gap in information about the condition of the world's natural resources, WRI launches World Resources, a biennial global assessment of environmental conditions and trends that for the first time provides country by country environmental data.
  • 1988. The North American office of the International Institute for Environment and Development
    International Institute for Environment and Development
    The International Institute for Environment and Development is a London-based policy research centre and think tank.- History :IIED was established by the economist Barbara Ward in 1971...

    merges with WRI to become the Center for International Development and Environment and the largest program within the Institute.
  • 1990. The United Nations Development Programme commissions a feasibility study by WRI which lays the foundation for creation of the Global Environment Facility
    Global Environment Facility
    The Global Environment Facility unites 182 member governments — in partnership with international institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector — to address global environmental issues....

  • 1992. WRI and its partners launch the Global Biodiversity Strategy which played a major role in the development of the Convention on Biological Diversity
    Convention on Biological Diversity
    The Convention on Biological Diversity , known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international legally binding treaty...

    , signed at the Earth Summit
    Earth Summit
    The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development , also known as the Rio Summit, Rio Conference, Earth Summit was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 June to 14 June 1992.-Overview:...

    in Rio de Janeiro.
  • 1993. Jonathan Lash becomes WRI's new President after Gus Speth leaves WRI to become Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme
    United Nations Development Programme
    The United Nations Development Programme is the United Nations' global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP operates in 177 countries, working with nations on their own solutions to...

  • 1993. WRI co-chairs the President's Council on Sustainable Development, a group of industry, environmental and labor CEOs joined by five cabinet secretaries.
  • 1996. The Management Institute for Environment and Business (MEB) merges with WRI.
  • 1999. WRI moves to a greener office space and becomes the first NGO to commit to reducing its own carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to net zero.
  • 2000. WRI launches Global Forest Watch, the first independent on-line network for monitoring forests.
  • 2000. WRI convenes a core team of civil society organizations from around the world to establish The Access Initiative (TAI). TAI is the only global movement committed to improving citizen access to information, participation, and justice in decisions that affect the environment.
  • 2001. WRI launches EarthTrends, an online collection of data and information regarding the environmental, social, and economic trends that shape our world.
  • 2001. WRI and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
    World Business Council for Sustainable Development
    The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is a CEO-led, global association of some 200 international companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development....

     (WBCSD) convene 50+ companies to establish the GHG Protocol, an international standard for measuring and reporting emissions of greenhouse gases.
  • 2003. WRI's Green Power Market Development Group, a partnership of Fortune 500 companies dedicated to building corporate markets for renewable energy, completes the larges commercial and industrial purchases of renewable energy in U.S. history.
  • 2004. WRI convenes the first major conference aimed at addressing ways in which business can reduce global poverty by meeting the needs of the world's poorest people at the "base of the economic pyramid." WRI continues the dialogue online through
  • 2005. Mexico City launches its first Bus Rapid Transit Corridor. The bus system is the centerpiece of a unique partnership between Mexico City and EMBARQ: The WRI Center for Sustainable Transport.
  • 2006. WRI's New Ventures project engages leading sustainable investment funds to increase the flow of capital to small and medium size business in emerging economies, resulting in the transfer of more than $19 million to 140 companies.
  • 2007. The United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) calls on the federal government to quickly enact strong national legislation that requires significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Coalition members include WRI, NRDC, Environmental Defense, Pew Center, Alcoa, BP America, Caterpillar, Duke Energy, DuPont, FPL Group, GE, Lehman Brothers, PG&E, and PNM Resources.
  • 2008. WRI began plans for an eco-friendly Green Roof for their building in downtown Washington D.C.
  • 2010. ""WRI announces"" that Jonathan Lash
    Jonathan Lash
    Jonathan Lash is the president of Hampshire College and former President of the World Resources Institute-Biography:Jonathan Lash received an A.B...

     resigned as President to become President of Hampshire College
    Hampshire College
    Hampshire College is a private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1965 as an experiment in alternative education, in association with four other colleges in the Pioneer Valley: Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts...

    . Manish Bapna appointed Acting President.

External links

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