Last week was the annual Esri User Conference, bringing together geographers, GIS (geographic information system) experts, conservationists and others from around the world — including a number of folks from the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership.
In preparing for the conference, Esri CEO Jack Dangermond interviewed Edward O. Wilson, the great naturalist, scientist, thinker and conservationist, about what’s next for inspiring conservation. Wilson’s answer is direct: biodiversity. Take five minutes to watch this video of two visionaries.
E.O. Wilson’s impact on how we understand the planet and its species is hard to overstate. He is considered the world expert on ants. He wrote the first major books on island biogeography and on sociobiology. He coined the term “biophilia” in exploring the evolutionary and psychological basis of humanity’s attraction to nature. He is the winner of two Pulitizer Prizes. And in 2016, he published Half Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life calling for protecting half the planet in order to save 85% of all living species.
One of the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership’s goals is to “protect a network of large natural areas and corridors sufficient to allow nature to respond to a changing climate and land development and to support thriving populations of native wildlife, migratory birds, fish and plants and sustain at-risk species.” When mapped, this network of important habitat equates to 47% of the Chesapeake watershed — pretty close to Wilson’s half!