the half-earth project

an initiative of the:

The Half-Earth Project will 1) drive the research needed to better understand and care for our world, 2) provide leadership to guide conservation efforts, and 3) engage people to participate broadly in the transcendent goal to conserve Half-Earth


global BIOdiversity census





Field Research
The Global Biodiversity Census Initiative will develop a comprehensive database of the earth’s vast biodiversity and use this data as a fundamental tool for conservation. The Initiative will perform model All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) in vital areas around the world, establish a forum for sharing of ATBI resources and best practices, and lead and support worldwide ATBI efforts. The goal of the Biodiversity Census Initiative will be to generate knowledge of regions of important biodiversity that informs and promotes conservation towards Half-Earth.

Under the leadership of SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry, we will work with partner organizations to share knowledge more efficiently in support of accelerated species discovery and classification.

Taxonomy Board of Advisors


The Half-Earth Chair of Biodiversity will be a four-year, named faculty position, which rotates between universities around the world. The position will move from region to region (North America, South America/Caribbean, Africa, Europe, Asia/Pacific, and the Middle East) in order to create broad program capacity and awareness of the unique importance of biodiversity worldwide. Half-Earth Biodiversity Chairs will be research leaders who convene in spearheading efforts to preserve and protect the biodiversity of our planet. During each program term, the Half-Earth Chair of Biodiversity will be tasked with maintaining a research focus in the field of biodiversity, writing at least one book for publication in the Half-Earth Press, providing in-country graduate student training, and performing an annual two week residency at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Following their term, each Chair will become a permanent member of the Half-Earth Council.


In order to seed and nurture next generation science and stewardship worldwide, the Half-Earth Biodiversity Scholar will be a two-year position, mentored by the Half-Earth Biodiversity Chair.  Scholars will be competitively selected from a global pool of PhD applicants. Their thesis will be published as part of the Half-Earth Press and will be presented at the Half-Earth Council Forum and other public events.


mapping core


knowledge platform


model conservation efforts

One key question of the Half-Earth Project is “Where?” The Mapping Core Team of the Half-Earth Project will address this question through deep scientific analysis and visually engaging mapping. The Half-Earth Mapping Core will provide expertise, leadership and visually engaging maps to guide conservation efforts towards the goal of Half-Earth.

Data Integration
Under the leadership of the Map of Life, the Mapping Core will analyze the status of protected areas and governance worldwide, integrating data regarding the historical distribution of biodiversity, human population, biodiversity richness, extinction risk, corridor opportunities, and landscape and cultural values to support the creation of dynamic & interactive maps. The Mapping Core will collectively generate new data on the pressures and threats that are driving changes in the status of biodiversity and will generate new insights into ways to mitigate these. This mapping, synthesis and analysis will be undertaken at a range of scales relevant to the conservation action being catalyzed by Half-Earth. 

Data Partners
The Mapping Core will work with a range of Data Partners to identify, secure and integrate existing data in ways that will generate new insights into the distribution, status and trends of biodiversity.


Design and Development
Under the leadership of Vizzuality, the Mapping Core will design and develop tools that showcase data to visually engage people in the importance of the places we must protect. Through dynamic, interactive maps, we will track conservation status, show areas targeted for conservation, provide information on why these places are important, and monitor progress towards the goal of Half-Earth. 


We will create and curate a dynamic online Knowledge Platform of maps, literature, white papers, policy papers, video and best practices that foster greater understanding and action to protect half the planet.


The Half-Earth Project is showcasing and supporting model conservation and species restoration efforts, using their inspiring stories to engage support and provide a model for similar conservation efforts throughout the world.

Click on the logos below to learn about the Half-Earth Project's Model Conservation Effort organizations, including blogs and videos about their research efforts, their latest milestones, and their progress in leading the way to Half-Earth.


Museum Exhibits



Communi-cations and Outreach

In order to reach a broad audience, the Half-Earth Project will create exhibits and film, and communicate and engage through social media and concerts that create a transformative experience around the need to care for the rest of our planet, seeding establishment of a movement culture that supports the goal of Half-Earth.