Nature Needs Half Steering Committee

The leaders of the Nature Needs Half movement are evolving and growing international enthusiasm to protect 50% of wild nature by 2050. Although representing diverse backgrounds, expertise, and skill sets, they share a common belief in building a healthy and respectful connection between society and nature. Since 2017, they have helped Nature Needs Half partners and affiliates work together to expand the scope of their conservation projects, knitting together the coordination necessary to effectively and sustainably defend our wild home.

Bio_HarveyLockeHarvey Locke

Free-Range Conservationist, Chair

Harvey is a conservationist, writer, and photographer, and worked closely with First Light Films on Wild Ways. He is a recognized global leader in the field of parks, wilderness and large landscape conservation. He is a founder of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and of the Nature Needs Half Movement. His work has been featured in films and television programs in many countries and his photography has been used in numerous publications. His popular writing has been published in English, French and Spanish, he has co-curated art shows about Nature in major North American museums, and he has written many peer reviewed articles. Named one of Canada’s leaders for the 21st century by Time Magazine, he has received many awards for his work including IUCN’s Fred M. Packard International Parks Merit Award for outstanding service to the worlds protected areas. He lives in Banff National Park, Canada.


Bio_CarlyVynneCarly Vynne

NNH Steering Committee Coordinator

Carly Vynne, PhD, is principal consultant at Osprey Insights and a Strategic Partner at RESOLVE. Her efforts have focused on working with non-profits, Tribes, corporations, private foundations, and agencies to conduct biodiversity assessments and to design, implement, and fund conservation programs. She has overseen conservation planning processes in Asia, Africa, and South America, and recently established several public-private partnerships to create impactful conservation programs across the western United States and arctic Alaska. Her PhD research focused on how the maned wolf and other wide-ranging mammals used the landscape matrix in and around a protected area in the Brazilian Cerrado.  At present, she is actively promoting Nature Needs Half, managing the Quick Response Biodiversity Fund, and helping to develop other creative solutions for how we can leave more room for nature in a rapidly changing world.


Bio_DonWeedenDon Weeden

The Weeden Foundation

Don is the Executive Director of the Weeden Foundation, which supports a wide range of programs that aim to preserve biodiversity, nationally and internationallyThe Foundation funded the first Debt-for-Nature Swap, creating the Beni Biosphere Reserve in Bolivia. Overall, in its thirty-five years of existence, it has helped preserve more than 6,000,000 acres of biologically important habitat worldwide. The Foundation has supported or currently supports projects in the western United States, central Russia, Chilean Patagonia, Bolivia, Namibia, Mexico and various Caribbean nations.  Don is co-founder of the Quick Response Biodiversity Fund, a grant making mechanism for critical habitat acquisitions worldwide that is a project of the Nature Needs Half Network. He is co-chair of International grant making at the Biodiversity Funder Group.


Bio_JamesBrundigeJames Brundige

First Light Films

James is a director, cinematographer, and founder of First Light Films, which specializes in producing science-based environmental films to leverage social change. From the Amazon jungle to Mount Everest, from American suburbs to the South Pole, First Light Films has told stories that help people understand the wonders of the Earth and how they can be preserved. James garnered numerous awards in thirty five years working on more than one hundred films for PBS, BBC, TBS, Discovery, ABC, CBS, NBC, and National Geographic Television.  First Light Films is currently broadcasting Wild Ways: Corridors of Life, produced for PBS NOVA.  Wild Ways is a critical success, and has been embraced by the conservation community for it’s clear exposition of the need for Connectivity Conservation. Wild Ways has been viewed by over 15 million people world wide.  Recent work includes Forever Wild: Celebrating America’s Wilderness narrated by Robert Redford.  The film captures the glory of undeveloped, wild places through stunning images and the passionate tales of volunteers from New Hampshire to California who work to preserve a legacy of wilderness for all of us to enjoy.


Bio_RandyHayesRandy Hayes

Founder of Foundation Earth

Randy has been described in the Wall Street Journal as “an environmental pit bull.” He is Executive Director at Foundation Earth, a new organization rethinking a human order that works within the planet’s life support systems. As a former filmmaker and Rainforest Action Network founder, he is a veteran of many high-visibility corporate accountability campaigns and has advocated for the rights of Indigenous peoples. He served seven years as President of The City of San Francisco Commission on the Environment, and as Director of Sustainability in the office of Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown (now governor). As a wilderness lover, Hayes has explored the High Sierras, the Canadian Rockies and the rainforests of the Amazon, Central America, Congo, Southeast Asia, Borneo, and Australia. He is a special advisor to the World Future Council.


Randy Hayes is a hero and a visionary — a radical messenger with the mentality of a Madison Avenue ad executive who is                                                                                          selling just one thing, saving the world before it is too late.  – Adam Werbach, Former President of the Sierra Club


Bio_TanyaBirchTanya Birch

Google Earth

Tanya is a Program Manager at Google Earth Outreach, which uses Google’s mapping technology and cloud platform for public benefit applications. She studied Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Prior to Google, she researched and mapped human elephant conflict with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society. At Google, she established the Geo Grants program delivering enterprise mapping software for free to over 6000 nonprofit organizations, focuses on using Android mobile technology to collect and map field data (including a lighthouse project with the Jane Goodall Institute and another project with the Surui Indigenous Tribe in Brazil), and leads Geo for Good’s Conservation-related efforts (one example project is Street View of Elephants).


Bio_VanceMartinVance Martin

The WILD Foundation

Vance joined WILD as president in 1984 after 15 years in international business and non-profit management. An innovative leader known for bridging the interests of people and nature, he has lived extensively overseas, worked in over 45 countries, and helped to establish many non-profits. An acknowledged expert in international nature conservation and wilderness protection, he serves on the boards of numerous organizations such as the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Friends of Peace Parks, Fulcrum Publishing, Wilderness Foundation (South Africa), Wilderness Foundation (UK), International Conservation Caucus Foundation, and others. He is also the founder and current co-chairman of the IUCN Wilderness Specialist Group, and has edited and authored many publications. A native of the U.S. Piedmont region, he graduated magna cum laude from West Virginia University. For more information about Vance, please visit his wikipedia page.


Bio_ComingSoonEric Dinerstein

Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions Program, RESOLVE

Dr. Eric Dinerstein created and is the Director of the Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions Program at RESOLVE. The twin goals of the BWS program focus on saving endangered large mammals from extinction and saving tropical rainforests. The BWS program includes an initiative called WildTech that seeks to bring innovations in technology to help save endangered species and their habitats through field tech and a website; the Nature Needs Half Network to promote the concept of Nature Needs Half (the latter a new paper in BioScience published in April 2017) and an essay on a new Global Deal for Nature to pair with the Paris Climate Deal. Eric has also helped to create Global Forest Watch-Biodiversity with the World Resources Institute. From 1990 to 2014 Eric was Chief Scientist at the World Wildlife Fund. Beginning in 1975, he conducted studies of tigers and their prey and led conservation programs for large mammals, such as greater-one horned rhinoceros. Along with Dr. David Olson, he is a co-architect of the Global 200, Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World, and with Dr. Eric Wikramanayake, mapped tiger conservation landscapes, designed the Terai Arc Landscape in Nepal and India, and came up with the idea of a Global Tiger Summit, staged in November 2010, to double the wild tiger population. Eric is also a senior fellow with the World Resources Institute and has worked closely with the Global Forest Watch (GFW) team to create Global Forest Watch Biodiversity. One of the first products of that collaboration is a recent paper concerning expanding tropical agriculture on degraded lands while sparing tropical forests.  New studies and papers focus on using the GFW forest database and alert systems to assess the condition of wild tiger habitat over the past 14 years and to prevent the loss of critical habitat in the future and a similar analysis conducted for the world’s ape species for the Arcus Foundation as part of the forthcoming State of the Apes volume published by Cambridge University Press. With the Weeden Foundation, Eric has established the Quick Response Biodiversity Fund, an innovative funding mechanism to address urgent land purchases for endangered species in developing countries.  Eric has conservation experience in many countries and has published widely on biodiversity, ecoregions, and large mammal biology including several co-authored books on conservation assessments of ecoregions around the world. His more recent books include a monograph on rhinos:

  • The Return of the Unicorns: the Natural History and Conservation of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros (Columbia University Press)
  • Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations
  • The Kingdom of Rarities (Island Press), and a middle-grade/young adult novel, What Elephants Know (Disney-Hyperion), a Notable book award winner from the American Library Association, winner of the South Asian Book of the Year, and an honoree of the Judy Lopez Memorial Award for Children’s Literature for 2017, and a second forthcoming novel in the series
  • The Seventh Sense of Elephants (Disney-Hyperion)