Why does protecting half the earth save biodiversity?

Because large areas harbor many more ecosystems and species composing them at a sustainable level.

The mission of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is to reimagine the way we care for our planet.

The Half-Earth Project inspires informed collective action to save the biosphere.

The Half-Earth proposal offers [a solution] commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: …only by setting aside half the planet in reserve, or more, can we save the living part of the environment and achieve the stabilization required for our own survival.  – E.O. Wilson (1929-2021)


New High Seas Treaty Critical for Marine Species

The High Seas Treaty is a critically important milestone for safeguarding marine biodiversity. Dr. Alex Killion, Managing Director of the Center for Biodiversity and Global Change weighs in on how the Half-Earth Project is contributing to mapping marine biodiversity, how well it is protected and making our research freely available to decision-makers.

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Hope for Achieving New Biodiversity Targets

In Esri’s ArcNews, Walter Jetz and Tamara Rudic report on the adoption of new biodiversity monitoring tools to measure progress against 30×30. The new metrics were developed by the Map of Life at Yale University and supported by NASA, Google, GEO Bon and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.

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Conservation Leader Gordon Moore Passes

Intel and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announced last week that company co-founder Gordon Moore passed away peacefully at the age of 94. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s leadership support was fundamental in launching the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s core program, the Half-Earth Project in 2016, and accelerating its science and education initiatives.

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Kunming-Montreal Agreement Adopts Science of Half-Earth Project

As part of the historic Kunming-Montreal agreement at COP15 countries also formally adopted three indicators as means to deliver critical measurements and area-based decision-support to protect biodiversity. The Species Habitat Index (SHI), the Species Protection Index (SPI), and the Species Information Index (SII) metrics and associated maps were developed in close collaboration with the GEO Biodiversity Observation Network (BON) and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and others. Combining a range of biodiversity observations, remote sensing, and models, the indicators address key questions for each of tens of thousands of species and for each year starting in 2001.

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Latest Half-Earth Fellows Study Entomology and Taxonomy in Mozambique

The Half-Earth Fellowships in Taxonomy and Biodiversity Exploration graduated its second class in late 2022. From over 50 applicants, two scholars were selected by Dr. Piotr Naskrecki, Scientific Chair of the Half-Earth Project and Associate Director of the E.O. Wilson Lab in Gorongosa National Park to participate in a taxonomy research intensive.

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Urgency of Extinction Crisis and Solution to Save Biodiversity Explained

Listen to Paula Ehrlich, CEO & President, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation discuss the extinction crisis in the latest episode of Sustainability Defined. The acclaimed podcast one of GreenBiz’s top sustainability podcasts.  In a simple and easy-to-follow manner, Ehrlich lays out the urgency of the extinction crisis and how the scientific and conservation community can come together with realistic solutions to save biodiversity, the web of life.

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Statement on Historic Biodiversity Agreement at COP15

Nations, youth, women, NGOs, Indigenous Peoples and local communities gathered to create a “Paris Agreement” for biodiversity, one that will halt and reverse biodiversity loss globally. In December 2022, over 160 nations signed the Kunming-Montreal Agreement at COP15. The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation worked as an official observer to support a strong, clear post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Read the Statement.

New Study Shows “Half-Earth” Could Double Gains for Orangutans

A new study in Oryx—The International Journal of Conservation assesses what would happen to Bornean orangutans in the next decade under different management assumptions, including “Half-Earth.” Under current management practices orangutan populations may decline by around 27% between now and 2032 in Borneo. A recent analysis predicts that, if orangutan killing and habitat loss were stopped, orangutan populations could rebound and reach 148% of their current size by 2122.

Erik Meijaard, PhD, a study co-author and Director, Borneo Futures, sat down with Dennis Liu, VP Education, to discuss restoring orangutans and applying the Half-Earth principles in his work in Borneo.

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Missed Half-Earth Day 2022? Experience “Our Shared Future” Again

The Smithsonian Institution, and E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation held Our Shared Future – a conversation in celebration of Half-Earth Day 2022 in Washington, DC. View the agenda.

This live event at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History featured Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO, WRI keynoting the James M. & Cathleen D. Stone Foundation Distinguished Lectureship in Biodiversity; Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, Ellen Stofan, Cristián Samper, Sean B. Carroll, Elizabeth Gray, Jennifer Morris, Adams Cassinga, Dawn Wright, Jeff Corwin and more.

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Explore the Science of the Half-Earth Project

The innovative science and research developed and in-part, funded by the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is having a significant impact on our goal to preserve global biodiversity. High-quality science is critical, for example, to informing global initiatives like protecting 30% of land and seas by 2030 (30×30) on the way to Half-Earth, as agreed upon in the recent Kunming-Montreal agreement at COP15 or the America The Beautiful Plan to protect biodiversity and address climate change in the US.

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Statement on Biden-Harris Administration Executive Order on Climate Crisis

“We applaud the Biden-Harris Administration’s pledge to put America on the path to ‘conserve 30 percent of its ocean of our lands and oceans by 2030.’ Conservation areas are key to safeguarding species and to ensure future generations can benefit from biodiversity’s many contributions to functioning ecosystems and human well-being. The Half-Earth Project® recognizes the need for a much expanded and carefully selected network of lands, waters, and ocean prioritized for conservation to achieve this goal.”

Read the full statement.

Dr. Paula J. Ehrlich, DVM, PhD, President & CEO, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, Half-Earth Project® Lead

On Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Half-Earth Project

We commit to prioritizing listening and taking clear steps externally and internally to combat racism and oppression of all types. We commit to working toward justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in our leadership, our programs, our strategic planning, our operations, our communications and our fundraising. We commit to creating a culture at the foundation that educates staff and stakeholders on the issues of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and holds opportunity for traditionally excluded groups to join in processes, activities and decision-making. We welcome and encourage feedback along the way.

We commit to understanding that this body of work IS our work if we are to achieve the goal of Half-Earth and benefit all people and species.

Honoring Indigenous Communities

“The Half-Earth Project honors the wisdom of the traditional owners of the lands and waters we aim to protect and their ancient ways of seeing and experiencing nature. In the spirit of the oral tradition of the Blackfoot, we aim to honor ‘the flash of the firefly in the night, the breath of the buffalo in the wintertime, and the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.’ We aim to restore and protect life. We thank our Indigenous communities for their historic stewardship of life, their critical role in reaffirming and repairing our relationship with it and their present and future partnership.” – Paula Ehrlich, President & CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and Lead of the Half-Earth Project

Seek out the Indigenous history of the place where you live at https://native-land.ca/.