Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), author of the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act, today introduced a resolution in support of the Half-Earth initiative, a proposal advanced by the late Dr. E.O. Wilson. Wilson, who passed away last year, was a famed biologist credited with coining the term “biodiversity.” He was born 93 years ago today.
“My friend E.O. Wilson sadly passed away last year, but his life’s work – the protection of our planet’s biodiversity – lives on,” said Beyer. “This legislation honors and supports one of E.O.’s last great dreams: the protection of half of the Earth’s lands and waters for the conservation of species. The global extinction crisis makes that work all the more important, and I will continue to work with colleagues and individuals and organizations committed to protecting our environment to advance this vital cause.”
Whereas the late E.O. Wilson has estimated that protecting half of the Earth’s land and seas would be sufficient to preserve 85 percent of the planet’s species, and with it, global biodiversity;
“We thank Congressman Beyer’s office for the Half-Earth resolution,” said Paula J. Ehrlich, CEO and President of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and co-founder of the Half-Earth Project. “E.O. Wilson’s unbridled curiosity about the world transformed the imaginations of countless people, and his courageous research sharpened the perspectives of communities and governments. Half-Earth encourages and reminds us that we can make a positive difference for life on Earth. As E.O. Wilson wrote, ‘To strive against odds on behalf of all of life would be humanity at its most noble.’”
“Protecting biodiversity is not a republican or democrat issue—it’s everyone’s duty to protect the lands, waters, plants, and animals that make the U.S. special,” stated Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “And while the biodiversity loss we’ve seen recently is alarming and gut wrenching—there are solutions, like protecting half of Earth’s lands and waters. In the process, Indigenous Peoples’ rights and knowledge must be respected and biodiversity’s benefits must be distributed equitably to all communities.”
Text of Beyer’s resolution is available here.