Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), author of the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act, today marked the International Day for Biological Diversity by introducing a resolution in support of the Half-Earth initiative, a proposal advanced by the late Dr. E.O. Wilson. Wilson, who passed away in 2021, was a famed biologist credited with coining the term “biodiversity.” The 30×30 global movement to protect biodiversity was inspired by Dr. Wilson’s Half-Earth concept and research.
“Protecting our planet’s biodiversity was the life’s work of my friend Dr. E.O. Wilson, and I am determined to help that work continue,” 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.”
“We thank Congressman Beyer’s office for continued support of 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. “Today we are witnessing E.O. Wilson’s courageous research inform efforts to protect biodiversity in nations around the world, including the United States. Half-Earth is a goal that everyone can take part in. As E.O. Wilson wrote, ‘To strive against odds on behalf of all of life would be humanity at its most noble.’”
“Rapid biodiversity loss threatens not just the plants and animals we know and love, but humanity itself,” said Addie Haughey, legislative director for Earthjustice. “With a million species facing the threat of extinction in the coming decades, it is time for bold action that matches the scale of the problem. We applaud Representative Beyer for his call to address the biodiversity crisis by protecting and conserving vulnerable ecosystems and species in the U.S. and beyond.”
“Protecting nature protects a healthy future for ourselves and the planet that sustains us. Nothing could be more critical in our battle against climate impacts than taking swift and immediate steps to reduce emissions and halt the loss of biodiversity around the globe. We commend Representative Beyer’s Half-Earth resolution and support the vital work underway to save the natural systems of life that support our health, our economies and our safety,” said Jamie Williams, President of The Wilderness Society.
“If we protect more wild places, we’ll have a better chance at saving all our cherished wildlife and plants,” said Stephanie Kurose, a senior policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “As habitat loss and climate change continue to threaten our natural world, we need bold and transformative ideas. Rep. Beyer’s Half-Earth resolution is precisely what’s needed to halt extinction here and around the planet.”
The resolution is endorsed by the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, The Wilderness Society, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth, Endangered Species Coalition, and Environment America.
View the complete text of Beyer’s resolution is available here.