History


In 2009, Nature Needs Half was formally launched at the 9th World Wilderness Congress in Merída, Mexico, boldly encouraging the conservation community to act publicly on what everyone was saying privately: nature needs half.

Meet the people and organizations who have helped make this movement what it is today.

Machu Picchu. Photo by Babak Fakhamzadeh.

Hope for Nature Starts with All of Us

TODAY

We are implementing on-the-ground actions that add up to 50% by 2050.

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Below you’ll find more about the evolution of our movement, an evolution that continues now. How will you help Earth's one-of-a-kind wild nature reach 50% protected?

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Movement Timeline

Pre-1970s

Indigenous leaders around the world warn of a global demise of nature.

1972

Gene and Tome Odum publish research that concludes: “It would be prudent for planners everywhere to strive to preserve 50% of the total environment as natural environment.”

1992

Reed Noss independently arrives at the same conclusion: Nature Needs Half. Basing his research on the 1991 National Audubon Society report, he publishes his findings in Wild Earth.

Reed Noss
1998

Soule And Sanjayan research article concludes that 50% of wildlife will be lost if 90% of habitat is disrupted: “Current policies are a prescriptions for mass biodiversity loss.”

2003

The Boreal Conservation Framework calls for protecting and interconnecting at least half of Canada’s boreal forests.

2004

A series of studies by multiple organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, conclude that approximately half of every bioregion must be protected.

2005

CPAWS (Canada) becomes the first NGO to embrace the idea of half and calls for protecting half of Canada’s public lands and waters.

2006

John Terborgh calls for protecting half the world in “Reserves: How much is enough and how do we get there?”

2009

Harvey Locke of the WILD Foundation launches the Nature Needs Half movement in the Closing Plenary of the 9th World Wilderness Congress.

Harvey Locke
2010

Gary Tabor organizes a symposium on the Next Big Idea and follows up with a paper titled “Boulder Thinking for Conservation.”

2011-2015

Dozens of papers and meetings are held on the topic of protecting half as scientists and officials with how to get to 50% in time.

2016

1) E.O. Wilson publishes Half Earth. Several reviews of the book mention Nature Needs Half as evidence of a growing movement, 2) Dinerstein et al. publish “An Ecoregion Approach to Protecting Half the Terrestrial Realm” and demonstrates how achieving half is still possible.

2017

Nature Needs Half Steering Committee meets for the first time to formalize planning for a global movement.

2018

Official, coalition-building website launched, sparking wider engagement internationally.