The Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss has decided to not be idly rich and watch the environment fall apart around him. He’s decided that over the next decade he will personally donate $1 billion USD to help save the planet. He will support local conservation movements, indigenous groups, and help expand national parks to protect land from developers. He wrote a an op-ed in the New York Times explaining his rationale and calling on others to help support the planet before it’s too late.
Every one of us — citizens, philanthropists, business and government leaders — should be troubled by the enormous gap between how little of our natural world is currently protected and how much should be protected. It is a gap that we must urgently narrow, before our human footprint consumes the earth’s remaining wild places.
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 percent of the planet’s surface by 2030. 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.