A Swiss Billionaire Donated One Billion Dollars To Save The Planet

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In the wake of Notre Dame's fire which devastated the roof of the most iconic cathedral in France, collages have been circulating online depicting the burning church alongside Kevin Carter’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Starving Child and Vulture (1993), obviously meant to raise awareness of some more pressing world problems such as the famine that's still racking vast areas in Africa.

A Swiss Billionaire Donated One Billion Dollars To Save The Planet

In the wake of Notre Dame's fire which devastated the roof of the most iconic cathedral in France, collages have been circulating online depicting the burning church alongside Kevin Carter’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Starving Child and Vulture (1993), obviously meant to raise awareness of some more pressing world problems such as the famine that's still racking vast areas in Africa.


In response to this great public outcry, Hansjörg Wyss, a billionaire, philanthropist, and conservationist from Switzerland has pledged to donate $1 billion in the next ten years to save Earth, according to UNILAD’s Lucy Connolly.


Through his Wyss Foundation, he'll be funding scientific projects, and raising public awareness about the significance of environmental protection.


“For my part, I have decided to donate $1 billion over the next decade to help accelerate land and ocean conservation efforts around the world, with the goal of protecting 30% of the planet’s surface by 2030,” the man told New York Times.


Wyss’s efforts came just on time, as scientists estimate animals and plants to be disappearing at a rate a thousand times faster than they did before human activity.


In Wyss' own words, since the creation of the world’s first national park, Yellowstone, in 1872, only 15% of the earth’s lands and 7% of its oceans have been protected in a natural state.


It seems as if even Hansjörg’s ambitious goal to have one-third of the planet protected in ten years wouldn't be enough in the long run, because environmentalists claim that at least half of the Earth must now be protected so that it can support the current biodiversity.


“The only way to save upward of 90% of the rest of life is to vastly increase the area of refuges, from their current 15% of the land and 3% of the sea to half of the land and half of the sea. That amount, as I and others have shown, can be put together from large and small fragments around the world to remain relatively natural, without removing people living there or changing property rights,” said Edward O. Wilson, a professor emeritus at Harvard University and the author of Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life.


For a beginning, Wyss is going to sponsor research at the University of Bern, Switzerland, aimed at determining the most effective and feasible conservation methods, according to Business Insider.


When this is all done, the Swiss billionaire plans to support a series of coordinated locally-led efforts in order to improve the management of natural parks and protected areas around the globe.


Those still skeptical about the success of Wyss’s initiative should remember that if the current pace of wildlife extinction is kept, there'll be so many animals that will go extinct in the next 50 years that it will take the planet at least three million years to recover.

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Thinking Humanity: A Swiss Billionaire Donated One Billion Dollars To Save The Planet
A Swiss Billionaire Donated One Billion Dollars To Save The Planet
In the wake of Notre Dame's fire which devastated the roof of the most iconic cathedral in France, collages have been circulating online depicting the burning church alongside Kevin Carter’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Starving Child and Vulture (1993), obviously meant to raise awareness of some more pressing world problems such as the famine that's still racking vast areas in Africa.
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