Site icon Conservation news

Audio: A Half-Earth progress report from E.O. Wilson

  • On this episode, a progress report on the Half-Earth Project direct from legendary conservation biologist E.O. Wilson.
  • When Mongabay contributor Jeremy Hance spoke with Dr. Wilson back in January of 2017, Wilson said he’d found the goal of Half-Earth was energizing for people — and he tells us on this episode of the podcast that this continues to be true, as the conservation community has responded eagerly to the Half-Earth goal.
  • Wilson also discusses why he sees Half-Earth as a “moonshot” and how close we currently are to protecting half of Earth’s lands and waters.

On this episode, a progress report on the Half-Earth Project direct from legendary conservation biologist E.O. Wilson.

Listen here:

 

The Half-Earth Project recently held an event at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City called “Half-Earth Day,” which featured the launch of a new Half-Earth educational initiative. Thus there were hundreds of students in the crowd for the marquee event that night — a panel discussion between E.O. Wilson, musician Paul Simon, and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman (listen to Paul Simon discuss why he supports the Half-Earth Project on a March 2017 episode of the Mongabay Newscast). Many of the students asked the same thing of the panelists: Given the enormity of the problems facing the planet right now, what could they possibly do to help ensure a better tomorrow?

In a broader sense, E.O. Wilson already answered the question of what we can all do to protect the future of life on this planet in his 2016 book, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight For Life. In the book, Wilson lays out an almost deceptively simple prescription for saving life on Earth: Devote half of Earth’s surface to nature, and save 85 percent of global biodiversity.

Before the Half-Earth Day panel discussion, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Wilson briefly, and he told me about some of the more unlikely allies the Half-Earth Project has enlisted, including numerous businesses. In fact, earlier that day, a partnership between the Half-Earth Project and Burt’s Bees was announced. Burt’s Bees, a company that makes personal care items, is going to fund the mapping of all the bee species in the world, which will in turn help determine the best habitat to conserve in order to protect the world’s bees. The mapping of the world’s species is just one of three phases of the Half-Earth Project that E.O Wilson talks about in this conversation with the Mongabay Newscast.

When Mongabay contributor Jeremy Hance spoke with Dr. Wilson back in January of 2017 (you can listen to that conversation as well on a previous episode of the Mongabay Newscast), Wilson said he’d found the goal of Half-Earth was energizing for people — and he tells us on this episode of the podcast that this continues to be true, as the conservation community has responded eagerly to the Half-Earth goal. Wilson also discusses why he sees Half-Earth as a “moonshot” and how close we currently are to protecting half of Earth’s lands and waters.

Here’s this episode’s top news:

Mongabay now has a free news app for Android users available in the Google Play Store. The app makes it easy to read and share Mongabay news features on Android devices, just look for “Mongabay Environmental News” inside the Google Play store.

If you enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, we ask that you please consider becoming a monthly sponsor via our Patreon page, at patreon.com/mongabay. Just a dollar per month will really help us offset the production costs and hosting fees, so if you’re a fan of our audio reports from nature’s frontline, please support the Mongabay Newscast at patreon.com/mongabay.

You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, RSS, Castbox, Pocket Casts, and via Spotify. Or listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage.

E.O. Wilson out in nature. Photo Credit: © Piotr Naskrecki.

Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001

FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.