Historically, private non-governmental entities in the developed world took interest in wildlife in developing nations. Nineteenth and early twentieth century explorers of Africa, Asia, and South America reported fascinating encounters with magnificent species that were previously cryptic or unknown (Robinson et al. 2017). Organizations such as the Royal Geographical Society in the United Kingdom, a sponsor of Charles Darwin’s expedition, the Boone and Crockett Club in North America, and numerous museums in the United States and Europe, sponsored chronicled expeditions to remote places under the goal of discovery and collection.
Concurrent with the quest for discovery of wild places and species new to science was the drive to find and secure timber, mineral, energy, and other resources to fuel the growing demands of development brought on by the Industrial Revolution (Lucas 2009, Stearns 2013). This led to exploitation, and overexploitation, which led to growing concerns over the loss of species, including species not yet known to western science. During the latter half of the twentieth century, in response to these concerns, private non-governmental organizations formed to promote conservation through science, advocacy, and technical assistance. These organizations vary from working independently, to forming collaborations across the public and private sphere. Our objective in this chapter is to outline some of the major conventions, major organizations, and programs that promote engagement in wildlife conservation and management at the international level.