Full Videos

Daytime Sessions
Half-Earth: Getting to Half – Plenary

Paula J. Ehrlich, President & CEO, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, opened Half-Earth Day with a brief introduction to the framework and ambition for the day. Walter Jetz, Yale University; Scientific Chair, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, and Craig Mills, CEO, Vizzuality, provided a glimpse of what Half-Earth could look like, presenting the Half-Earth Project Map decision-making tool at the core of the Half-Earth Project. Piotr Naskrecki, Associate Director, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory, Gorongosa National Park, showcased the exemplary model that Gorongosa National Park provides for science-based conservation and social growth, providing a launching point for the day’s exploration of Pathways to a Half-Earth Future.

With a special appearance by E.O. Wilson, welcoming the inaugural Half-Earth Chair, Piotr Naskrecki.

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Companies for a Half-Earth Future

Companies for a Half-Earth Future is an initiative to explore how companies can contribute to the grand ambition of Half-Earth through transformative, concrete actions. Nominated companies will develop a handbook of best practices that every company can use, from the leading companies that are breaking new ground and have sustainability integrated into their core business models, to companies that have just begun to explore how they can contribute.

Introduction by Jeff Ubben, Founder and CEO, ValueAct Capital. Panel participants included: Moderator Dennis Pamlin, Entrepreneur and Founder of 21st Century Frontiers; Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and CEO, Lindblad Expeditions; Andres Gluski, President and CEO, AES; Jonathan Webb, Founder and CEO, AppHarvest; and Eva Karlsson, CEO, Houdini.

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Modern Zoos and Aquariums are Conservation Organizations

The 236 accredited members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums are transforming the very conception of a modern zoological institution. No longer simply curiosities or menageries, modern aquariums and zoos are purposeful conservation organizations, powered by engaging and inspiring attractions. Presenter: As Daniel Ashe, President & CEO, Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

Building a National Park System in China

President Xi Jinping has called for China to have a fully developed national park system in China by 2030 and has designated 10 pilot national parks to lead the effort. With funding from the Paulson Institute, Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Institute for Parks, People and Biodiversity Jon Jarvis and Thea Yang are leading the team effort to evaluate pilot park opportunities.

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Half-Earth: The Future of Conservation – Plenary

José González, Founder and Emeritus President of Latino Outdoors and highly-regarded leader in conservation leads a panel discussion with young rising leaders who reflect the changing demographics of the US, bringing new energy, enthusiasm and innovation to science and conservation. They discussed issues of environmental justice, historic discrimination in parks and public lands as well as current trends in justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in the conservation movement. This is the future of conservation. Panelists include Olivia Lomasi VanDamme, Coastal Access Activist & Surfer; Jennifer Adams, Regional Coordinator, Latino Outdoors; and Amanda Machado, Writer and Facilitator.

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California as a Case Study for Conservation in a Changing World

This session provided a detailed look at California as a case study for the science and decision-support needed for effective species conservation in diverse and changing environments. Speakers presented research and perspectives on the importance of reserves, and their connectedness and integration with the larger landscapes, for the conservation of species. A panel discussion of scientists and government representatives explored the opportunities for linking research on spatial conservation priorities with policy and on the ground implementation. Moderators: Walter Jetz, Yale; Scientific Chair, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation; David Ackerly, Dean of the College of Natural Resources (CNR) and Professor, UC Berkeley. Presenters: Matthew Kling, UC Berkeley: “California plant conservation gaps”; Sam Young, California Native Plant Society: “California Important Plant Areas”; Steve Beissinger, UC Berkeley: “A Century of Climate and Land-Use Change on California’s Birds and Mammals”; Lauren Ponisio, UC Riverside: “Conserving California pollinators”; Adina Merenlender, UC Berkeley: “Climate-wise landscape connectivity and reserve design”; Justin Brashares, UC Berkeley: “Challenges and opportunities for California’s recovering predators.” Panelists: Chuck Bonham, Wade Crowfoot, David Gluesenkamp and Dan Ashe, moderated by David Ackerly.

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The Importance of Science and the Humanities – Plenary

“The Importance of Science and the Humanities” began with a presentation by Island Press President David Miller celebrating the 25th-anniversary re-release of E.O. Wilson’s autobiography “Naturalist,” and featuring a sneak peek of a graphic adaptation to be released in 2020. Following this glimpse into his life and inspirational thinking, E.O. Wilson took the stage, and Esri Co-founder and President Jack Dangermond moderated a discussion about the importance of a consilience between science and the humanities to a Half-Earth future, and the important role we all play in achieving the goal of Half-Earth.

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Full Videos

Evening Lectures

Half-Earth: How to Save the Natural World

Visionary biologist and naturalist E.O. Wilson sat down with Sally Jewell, Interim Chief Executive Officer for The Nature Conservancy, to talk about the core science and common humanity that is driving the success of the grand ambition of Half-Earth, and how we can all work together to save the natural world. Special guests included former Governor Jerry Brown; Stephen Lockhart, Chief Medical Officer, Sutter Health; Walter Jetz, Yale University and Scientific Chair of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation; and UC Berkeley’s Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Paul Alivisatos.

Full evening video at right.

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Gov. Jerry Brown

“I take that as cheering for the ecosystem, of which I am a proud member,” said former California Governor Jerry Brown as he kicked off the evening with a surprise appearance. “Because it’s not us against the environment, but it’s us in the environment, part of the environment. And as one goes, so goes the other. And that’s what we’re here tonight to talk about.”

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Stephen H. Lockhart

During Half-Earth Day 2019: How to Save the Natural World, Stephen H. Lockhart, Chief Medical Officer at Sutter Health, defines the problems we face as our environment deteriorates, how it affects species and people, and how we create the next generation of environmental stewards.

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Walter Jetz

On Half-Earth Day 2019, following Stephen Lockhart’s talk describing the current state of the environmental crisis, Walter Jetz, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation Scientific Chair, presented The Solution to the Problem.

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Evening Lectureship

E.O. Wilson

During Half-Earth: How to Save the Natural World, E.O. Wilson encouraged young scientists to consider the emerging field of ecosystem sciences, to explore the possibilities of a renewed, boots-on-the-ground career path, and to be part of discovering the millions of species yet unknown to science.

Sally Jewell

Sally Jewell, Interim CEO of The Nature Conservancy, moderated the discussion with E.O. Wilson on Half-Earth Day, and also brought her considerable expertise to the evening. Noting her own degree in mechanical engineering, she expressed strongly that everyone, no matter your background, can make a positive contribution to protecting the natural world.

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Q&A With E.O. Wilson

The Science of Getting to Half

With the mapping tools now available to us, we have the opportunity to have much better knowledge and do thoughtful development in the right ways and in the right places. If you think about half the Earth, where would you say we need to start?

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Half-Earth on the International Stage

How does Half-Earth communicate with other countries, and what can other national and international agencies do to get the whole planet on board?

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Science and Public Service

What advice would you have for scientists interested in public policy careers?

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Learning from Ants and from Rachel Carson

What might we humans be able to learn from ants as we think about how we shape a different future than the track that we’re on? How did ants lead you to connect with Rachel Carson?

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Indigenous Communities

There is a substantial part of our Earth that is stewarded by indigenous communities, who seem to have done a better job than the rest of us in terms of living in harmony with nature. What can we learn from those communities and how might they be allies in biodiversity conservation?

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Half-Earth Day is Co-hosted By

Half-Earth Day Sponsors

Support for Half-Earth Day provided by E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation partner Burt’s Bees.

Additional Support Provided by

The Horace M. Albright Lecture in Conservation
The James M. And Cathleen D. Stone Foundation

Questions about Half-Earth Day? Contact Chris Heltne at (919) 219-2279, cheltne@eowilsonfoundation.org, or the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources at (510) 642-4902, cnr@berkeley.edu.

Visit Half-Earth Day 2019 for a full lineup of events.

Take a look back at Half-Earth Day 2018.