Scientists and conservationists from around the world were joined by special guests, including eminent biologist Edward O. Wilson and legendary recording artist Paul Simon, to celebrate the planet’s first-ever Half-Earth Day on Oct. 23.
The all-day inaugural event, co-convened by the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and National Geographic, highlighted efforts to halt rising extinction rates and help conserve half the planet. Half-Earth Day featured two large-scale public events, and a morning scientific session, that brought together scientists to discuss their research regarding how we can achieve the Half-Earth goal.
Half-Earth Day was inspired by E. O. Wilson’s best-selling book, Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life (read more about the book here). As Paula Ehrlich, president and CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation explained at the evening session, “Half-Earth is E.O. Wilson’s call to conserve half our planet’s lands and seas in order to safeguard the bulk of biodiversity. Half-Earth was conceived as a moonshot; an inspiring goal that would drive conservation efforts to a new level.”