Half-Earth Day 2018

Momentum Grows For
Our Planet’s “Moonshot”

Half-Earth is a call to conserve half the land and sea in order to safeguard the bulk of biodiversity and ensure the long-term health of our planet.

On Half-Earth Day we celebrated this grand ambition, showcased progress, engaged key stakeholders, and fielded questions from capacity crowds, while while thousands more followed online.

Half-Earth: How to Save the Natural World

Highlights from the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation Distinguished Lectureship in Biodiversity with biologist and naturalist Edward O. Wilson and legendary recording artist Paul Simon, moderated by The New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman.

How to Save the Natural World

An Extraordinary Moment

“We’re at an extraordinary moment now. We have the technology to comprehensively map the species of our planet at a high enough resolution to drive decision-making about where we have the best opportunity to protect the most species, and give them the space they need to grow. This is the work of the Half-Earth Project.”

– Paula Ehrlich, President and CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and the Half-Earth Project

How to Save the Natural World

Confronting the Crisis

“I think that what we have right now is not just a crisis of climate change, although that certainly is a crisis and it certainly is there. The next one right on the horizon is the shortage of freshwater. The third is eliminating species down to a population level that the ecosystems around the world are beginning to collapse.”

-Edward O. Wilson, biologist, naturalist, and author of Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life

How to Save the Natural World

Do Something

“We don’t have the luxury of passivity. You have to do something. You keep asking ‘what should I do’ when you know as well as we do. You’ve got to do something.”

– Legendary Recording Artist Paul Simon

How to Save the Natural World

The Noah Generation

“I think we are the Noah generation. We’re actually the first generation of our species, the human species, that has to think like the Biblical Noah. It will be for us to save many more of the last two.
Not only do we have to build the arc, but we also created the flood.”

-Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize Winner and Columnist for The New York Times

Half-Earth: How to Save the Natural World

Watch Edward O. Wilson, Paul Simon and Thomas L. Friedman discuss the goal of Half-Earth, and how we get there. With introductions by American Museum of Natural History President Ellen Futter, and E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation President and CEO Paula Ehrlich.

Half-Earth: Learning from Local Stewards

Two panel conversations featuring in-country indigenous and local community leaders, and representatives from global conservation and multinational organizations discussing how local conservation efforts are leading the way in nature stewardship, and how these projects inform the Half-Earth vision.

Learning from Local Stewards

Building Trust

“Leadership is really about building trust. For us, we make sure that for every community conservancy, even the political leadership are involved. Ex officials on the conservancy board. The member of parliament, the senator, the county government. We make sure everything is open and transparent. It’s about bringing the leadership closer.” 

-Tom Lalampaa, Northern Rangelands Trust, Kenya

Learning from Local Stewards

Nature and Livelihood

“When speaking about nature, it’s important to remember that one person’s nature is another person’s livelihood, culture, food and identity. The line that some of us use to speak of people on one hand and nature on the other can be a blurry one.”

-Ana Porzecanski, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History

Learning from Local Stewards

The Half-Earth Vision Is Striving

“Half-Earth is a new map of the world that enlivens, that softens geopolitical boundaries and enlivens the boundaries of the diversity of life on Earth.”

-Christopher Filardi, Nia Tero

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Half-Earth: Learning from Local Stewards

The Half-Earth Day afternoon session, “Half-Earth: Learning from Local Stewards,” featured two panel conversations. Panel 1 addressed the question, “How are indigenous peoples and local communities leading the way in nature stewardship?” This panel featured representatives from indigenous groups and communities who are leading local conservation efforts. Panel 2 addressed the question, “How can these initiatives inform the Half-Earth vision?” and featured leaders from global conservation and multilateral organizations. Welcoming remarks were made by Ana Porzecanski, followed by a brief introduction to Half-Earth by Paula J. Ehrlich. 

Half-Earth: Learning from Local Stewards 

Introductions by Ana Porzecanski and Paula Ehrlich

 

Half-Earth: Learning from Local Stewards

Panel 1: How are indigenous peoples and local communities leading the way in nature stewardship?

Half-Earth: Learning from Local Stewards

Panel 2: How can these initiatives inform the Half-Earth vision?

Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Program

The Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Program was created to provide a platform for teachers to engage each other and their students in the grand ambition of Half-Earth and to inspire and connect students with the natural world.

Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Workshop

Dispelling Myths

“Many times, students feel helpless about how they can make a difference. They are constantly bombarded with messages that it is too difficult to save a particular species or that it is too costly to preserve the land. The Half-Earth Project dispels these myths and empowers the students to do what is necessary to preserve the biodiversity around them.”

-Workshop attendee

Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Workshop

Our Students Will Inherit The Earth

“Since the species extinction rate is exponentially increasing, the alarm must be sounded to those who will inherit the Earth – our students. But alarm must be accompanied by trusted and easily understandable information sources, by guides (we teacher ambassadors) who can help them develop a vested interest in the organisms that surround and support humanity. Once you have captured your audience, we now we have a chance at making a permanent impression for the need to preserve what’s left on Earth.”

-Workshop attendee

Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Workshop

Nothing More Fulfilling

“As a field naturalist, there is nothing more exciting than exploring the earth’s biodiversity. As an educator, there is nothing more fulfilling than facilitating my students’ appreciation for it. And as a citizen of this world, there is nothing more important than working to conserve it.”

-Workshop attendee

E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and Burt’s Bees

Half-Earth Day was sponsored by E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation partner Burt’s Bees. Their generous support will help fund a three-year global bee mapping effort.

Burt's Bees

Mapping Earth's Bees

Half-Earth Day was sponsored by E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation partner Burt’s Bees. In addition to this generous support, Burt’s Bees announced their commitment to map the world’s 6,000 bee species.Their move to support pollinators through the lens of biodiversity comes at a critical juncture.

Burt's Bees

For the Sake of the Planet

“Mapping the known species of bees is the first step in their conservation – and ultimately the conservation of much of the flowering plant life and plant-dependent species worldwide. Burt’s Bees commitment to the mapping of the bees is a critical step towards our goal of conserving the most vital half of the Earth’s natural resources for the sake of the planet as a whole.” 
– Paula Ehrlich, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation President and CEO

Burt's Bees

Human and Honeybee Health

“Our passion and support for the Half-Earth Project stems from an undeniable fact: human and honeybee health are intrinsically linked to the health of the natural world as a whole. Healthy ecosystems have been central to our journey as a company, right down to our co-founder Roxanne’s belief that, because we take from nature, we must protect and provide for it.”
– Paula Alexander, Director of Sustainable Business at Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees

Paula Alexander announces three-year partnership with the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation to map Earth’s bees.

More about Half-Earth Day 2018

Learn more about the Half-Earth Day program, speakers and sponsors.