Half-Earth Inspires at 2017 Biodiversity Days Forum

E.O. Wilson and Paul Simon speak with guests during Biodiversity Days, March 2, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina

E.O. Wilson and Paul Simon speak with guests during Biodiversity Days, March 2, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina


Biodiversity Days are focused on cultivating awareness and promoting understanding as a key foundation for engagement, action and inspired care of our planet. The theme of Biodiversity Days 2017 was Half-Earth, E.O. Wilson’s call to save half the Earth for the rest of life. On March 2-3, 2017 the Half-Earth Project program partners and Half-Earth Council gathered at The Carolina Theatre and the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University for two full days of public lectures, roundtable discussions, and film screenings about how the Half-Earth Project will bring this grand vision and important goal to life. Highlights, videos and photographs from the event are archived below.

The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is dedicated to expanding knowledge and understanding of biodiversity in all its detail and complexity in order to best care for the living world. We work to promote the protection of biodiversity as a moral imperative and advocate that universal conservation should be one of humanity’s transcendent goals. To learn more about the Half-Earth Project, please visit the new Half-Earth Project website.


Let us reinvigorate the fields of biology that we have neglected in a renaissance and along with that, let us work hard to get a better approach to science and science education by our children.
— E.O. Wilson
Jeff Sachs (Columbia University, Half-Earth Council), Edward O. Wilson

Jeff Sachs (Columbia University, Half-Earth Council), Edward O. Wilson


The amount of energy I see out there, the interest, is beyond anything I have ever seen before.
— John Seager from Population Connection in response to the question “What gives you hope that this project will work?”
Thomas Lovejoy (George Mason University, Half-Earth Council), Louie Psihoyos (Oceanic Preservation Society, Half-Earth Council), John Seager (Population Connection, Half-Earth Council), Edward O. Wilson

Thomas Lovejoy (George Mason University, Half-Earth Council), Louie Psihoyos (Oceanic Preservation Society, Half-Earth Council), John Seager (Population Connection, Half-Earth Council), Edward O. Wilson


Let me underline the importance of Ed’s remarks about science education and how you start off with learning the magic of living things, you end up with a very different perspective of science and what counts.
— Tom Lovejoy, George Mason University
Thomas Lovejoy (George Mason University, Half-Earth Council), Louie Psihoyos (Oceanic Preservation Society, Half-Earth Council)

Thomas Lovejoy (George Mason University, Half-Earth Council), Louie Psihoyos (Oceanic Preservation Society, Half-Earth Council)


We are going to have to band together however we can in our communities and conquer this.
— Louie Psihoyos, Oceanic Preservation Society
Louie Psihoyos (Oceanic Preservation Society, Half-Earth Council), Laura Turner Seydel (The Captain Planet Foundation, Turner Foundation, Half-Earth Council), Jon Bowermaster

Louie Psihoyos (Oceanic Preservation Society, Half-Earth Council), Laura Turner Seydel (The Captain Planet Foundation, Turner Foundation, Half-Earth Council), Jon Bowermaster


We have to, everybody in this room has to be committed to changing what’s going on because we can’t sit still. We can’t.
— Louie Psihoyos, Oceanic Preservation Society
Louie Psihoyos (Oceanic Preservation Society, Half-Earth Council)

Louie Psihoyos (Oceanic Preservation Society, Half-Earth Council)


Biodiversity is complex as are its metrics. On top of this, quality biodiversity data is hard to find. Any quality initiative to map biodiversity in an accurate and compelling way needs to work with the experts who produce the data, act as its custodians year after year and really understand what it tells us—and what it doesn’t.
— Jon Hutton, Director of the Luc Hoffmann Institute
Paula Ehrlich (EOWBF President and CEO)

Paula Ehrlich (EOWBF President and CEO)


What we have is a very important idea and a very important reality. So the important idea is that we need a break through because of the reality, which is that 25 years after the convention on biological diversity, we have not even slowed the loss of biodiversity. We are in an onslaught, so this is in the face of an emergency.
— Jeff Sachs, Columbia University
Jeff Sachs (Columbia University, Half-Earth Council)

Jeff Sachs (Columbia University, Half-Earth Council)


The next great global industry: clean air, clean power, clean water.
— Tom Friedman, New York Times
Edward O. Wilson, Tom Friedman (NY Times)

Edward O. Wilson, Tom Friedman (NY Times)


Later is now officially over.
— Tom Friedman, New York Times
Tom Friedman (NY Times)

Tom Friedman (NY Times)


If you can’t talk to oil people about biodiversity, then you have a hobby. Because this is a scale problem.
— Tom Friedman, New York Times
Edward O. Wilson, Tom Friedman (NY Times)

Edward O. Wilson, Tom Friedman (NY Times)


Keep in mind: Climate change we can reverse if we work hard enough and get the right leadership. But extinction is really, really forever.
— E.O. Wilson
Edward O. Wilson

Edward O. Wilson


Captain Planet Foundation fits into the Half-Earth vision by focusing on the patient work of inspiring and empowering the next generation to be the careful inheritors of a conserved planet for all of life.
— Courtney Kimmel, The Captain Planet Foundation
Mike Phillips (TESF, Half-Earth Council), Laura Turner Seydel (The Captain Planet Foundation, Turner Foundation, Half-Earth Council)

Mike Phillips (TESF, Half-Earth Council), Laura Turner Seydel (The Captain Planet Foundation, Turner Foundation, Half-Earth Council)


And that’s why Half-Earth is so important. Because no matter how fast we proceed, it’s going to take a very long time to restore anything resembling balance, and if we don’t do this, it’s just flat-out going to be too late.
— John Seager, Population Connection
E.O. Wilson at the Biodiversity Days reception and book signing

E.O. Wilson at the Biodiversity Days reception and book signing


From The Half-Earth Project presentation by Paula Ehrlich, President & CEO, EOWBF

From The Half-Earth Project presentation by Paula Ehrlich, President & CEO, EOWBF


It is time to save the very fabric of life on Earth and raise our conservation efforts to a new level. It’s time to save half of the planet’s surface for the immensity of life upon which we absolutely depend, and which depends upon us.
— Paula Ehrlich
Cathy Stone (The James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation), Edward O. Wilson, Paula Ehrlich (EOWBF President and CEO), Jim Stone (The James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation)

Cathy Stone (The James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation), Edward O. Wilson, Paula Ehrlich (EOWBF President and CEO), Jim Stone (The James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation)


We depend upon all of nature—the biosphere—in the same way that nature depends upon us.
— Paula Ehrlich
From The Half-Earth Project presentation by Paula Ehrlich, President & CEO, EOWBF

From The Half-Earth Project presentation by Paula Ehrlich, President & CEO, EOWBF


BIODIVERSITY DAYS VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS


BIODIVERSITY DAYS PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS