In 2009, Nature Needs Half was formally launched by the WILD Foundation at the 9th World Wilderness Congress (WILD9) 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


We are implementing on-the-ground actions that add up to 50% by 2030.

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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


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


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.”


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

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.”


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


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


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


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


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

Watch the WILD9 Closing Ceremony
Harvey Locke

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


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.


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.


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


Official, coalition-building website launched, sparking wider engagement internationally. By the time of the COP14 in Egypt, submissions from the NGO sector called for a minimum of 30% protection by 2030, with others calling for a clear roadmap to 50% protection by 2050. Nature Needs Half maintains the imperative for action at the highest level as soon as possible.