Half-Earth Project Gains Momentum with Significant Gift

Paul Simon Gift Supports the E.O Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s Half-Earth Project

Durham, N.C., October 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ – The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation today announced that it is expanding the staff and programs of the Half-Earth Project following a substantial gift from legendary recording artist, Paul Simon. Simon made the donation to the Foundation following his 19-city U.S. concert tour to support its efforts, in particular, the Half-Earth Project.

The Half-Earth Project is a goal-oriented campaign to conserve half the planet’s lands and oceans in order to stop the species extinction crisis. By conserving half the Earth, humanity can safeguard the bulk of biodiversity, including ourselves.

“We are very honored to receive this outstanding gift from Paul Simon and to have his generous support for the Half-Earth Project,” said Edward O. Wilson. “Humanity is currently faced with a momentous moral decision regarding the worldwide extinction of species and natural ecosystems. If we fail to act now, half of all known species will be gone by the end of the century. With Paul Simon’s gift we can expand the work of the Half-Earth Project and deepen our engagement with the public and conservation community to achieve this solution.”

Image of a marsh.

Paul Simon’s gift will support the Half-Earth Project’s research programs, which are working to identify, track, map, monitor, and visualize the biodiversity of the world in order to provide scientific leadership about what places to target for conservation and achieve the goal of Half-Earth. Funding is being used to drive the integration of vast data sets and expertise to create high resolution maps that will engage people everywhere in understanding why certain places are special, and how they can best be managed to protect life on Earth.

Paul Simon remarked, “I was particularly inspired by something Ed Wilson said a few years ago: ‘Our planet could be a paradise by the next century but we must work together quickly to save Earth’s biodiversity.’ I was proud to perform my last tour to benefit and support Ed’s vision for Half-Earth.“

“We are extremely grateful to Paul Simon for helping us to engage people in this hopeful solution and for his powerful voice on behalf of all of life on Earth,” said Paula Ehrlich, President & CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity. “His contribution gives us the opportunity to scale-up our research efforts to match the grand ambition of Half-Earth and protect our planet.”

About the Half-Earth Project
The Half-Earth Project has science at its core and our moral obligation to the rest of life at its heart. In collaboration with our partners, we are working to power one of the grandest conservation efforts of our time, and provide the urgently needed research, leadership and engagement necessary to conserve half the planet for the rest of life. Learn more at EOWilsonFoundation.org.

About the E.O. Wilson Foundation
The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation fosters a knowing stewardship of our world through biodiversity research and education initiatives that promote and inform worldwide preservation of our biological heritage. Learn more at EOWilsonFoundation.org.

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