A Swiss businessman is taking it upon himself to ensure the planet’s survival by contributing $1 billion to an astonishing international conservation effort.
In a recent op-ed that he published through the New York Times, Hansjörg Wyss announced that he will be using the money to launch the Wyss Campaign for Nature: an ambitious collaborative mission to protect 30% of the world’s surface by 2030.
The money will be distributed through his foundation over the course of the next decade in partnership with the National Geographic Society, the Nature Conservancy, and Argentinian environmental group Fundacion Flora y Fauna.
“This money will support locally led conservation efforts around the world, push for increased global targets for land and ocean protection, seek to raise public awareness about the importance of this effort, and fund scientific studies to identify the best strategies to reach our target,” wrote Wyss.
This is not the billionaire’s first contribution towards natural landscapes, either – his foundation has already spent $415 million on preserving roughly 40 million acres around the world.
With scientists estimating that half the world needs to be protected in order to save essential plant and wildlife species, however, Wyss’s latest goal could make a huge difference for the Earth’s future.
“We need to embrace the radical, time-tested and profoundly democratic idea of public-land protection that was invented in the United States, tested in Yellowstone and Yosemite, and now proven the world over,” says Wyss. “For the sake of all living things, let’s see to it that far more of our planet is protected by the people, for the people and for all time.”
Hansjörg Wyss: “I believe this ambitious goal is achievable because I’ve seen what can be accomplished.
“Indigenous peoples, local leaders and conservation groups around the world are already busy setting aside protected areas that reflect the conservation, economic and cultural values of nearby communities. Financial support from philanthropists and governments is critical to helping these leaders conserve places like the coral reefs of the Caribbean, the glaciers of Argentina and what is known as the “place of many elephants” in Zimbabwe.”