This week Awesome Stories brings you environmental champions.
Protecting the Planet
Recently, Wyoming billionaire, Hansjörg Wyss, vowed to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. To achieve this massive target, he has kicked off the Wyss Campaign for Nature with a 1 Billion US dollar contribution! Protecting 30% of the planet’s land and ocean would double the current areas that are protected. To achieve this epic goal, Wyss has enlisted the help of environmental groups like the National Geographic Society (for public awareness), The Nature Conservancy, and a host of local project partners. Wyss has a history of conservation and protection efforts, primarily in Wyoming and the western US.
This campaign is particularly encouraging during the current US political climate that seems determined to deny climate change and undermine as many conservation efforts as possible. I’m grateful for environmental champions like Hansjörg Wyss, Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, Douglas Thompkins of NorthFace, Ted Turner, and Rachel Carson. In turn, the UN spotlights environmental champions with it’s Champions of the Earth program, their highest environmental honor, celebrating outstanding people whose actions have a transformative effect on the environment.
Despite these amazing people and their efforts, I think we’re still facing a huge challenge that will need the engagement of many more individuals, leaders, governments, and corporations. And I believe it will require massive changes in our economic, social, and political models. We can’t keep chasing consumption and growth as our primary goals. We could learn something from Bhutan which has become the first country to focus on Gross National Happiness instead of the GNP most countries use. Bhutan’s GNH is built on equitable social development, cultural and environmental preservation, and good governance.
To inspired leadership that puts environmental stewardship at the center of policy.