the global leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology,
today announced its partnership with the E.O.
Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and will be providing
the mapping and analytics capabilities of the ArcGIS platform to
the foundation’s Half-Earth
Project. This initiative is working to conserve half the earth’s
lands and seas to reverse the species extinction crisis currently
threatening the planet.
“Species are the foundation of a healthy planet. When species have the
space they need to thrive, we all benefit,” said Paula Ehrlich,
president and CEO of the foundation and leader of the Half-Earth
Project. “Our partnership with Esri comes at a critical moment in human
history. We’re very grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with
them to provide the core scientific insight needed for everyone to work
together to achieve the grand ambition of conserving biodiversity with
the Half-Earth effort.”
The partnership between Esri and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation
includes commitments by Esri to provide its geospatial cloud, ArcGIS
Living Atlas of the World, and significant geospatial and geoscience
expertise, as well as financial support. Esri will also be asking
its global user community to share biodiversity data to support the
ongoing Half-Earth Project mapping and analytic efforts.
“In order to realize a vision on the scale of Half-Earth, we
need to mobilize virtually everybody on the planet. It’s crucial that we
bring together our best minds, our strongest science, and humanity’s
best intentions to achieve positive results,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri
founder and president. “By working together, we believe it will be
possible to accelerate efforts worldwide to identify not just species at
risk but also the areas of the planet that must be set aside
and protected for long-term conservation of biodiversity. My personal
belief is that this effort is critically important for
the earth’s future.”
GIS has a crucial role to play in this effort. It will be
the integrative technology to bring together information and communities
that can portray what is happening in the world and who and what will be
affected, as well as provide the map of what must be done.
The Half-Earth Project was inspired by the book, Half-Earth: Our
Planet’s Fight for Life, written by American biologist and
naturalist, E. O. Wilson. The goal of the project is to map global
species distribution in unprecedented detail and use this information to
identify conservation priorities that will safeguard species diversity.
The Half-Earth Map will provide decision-makers and communities with the
information they need to make informed conservation management decisions
that meet the needs of both people and biodiversity.
A recently released United Nations (UN) report firmly establishes the
unprecedented decline of species and the accompanying threat to all
life. The most comprehensive study of its kind, this report states that
more than 1,000,000 species are threatened with extinction over the
coming decades, endangering the very fabric of life humans depend on for
“This partnership with Esri could not have come at a more important time
for biodiversity and the future health of our planet,” said E. O.
Wilson. “With the biodiversity of our planet mapped carefully and soon,
the bulk of the earth’s species, including ourselves, can be saved.”
The partnership between Esri and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity
Foundation will enable the Half-Earth Project to identify the places
that have the best opportunities to safeguard biodiversity around the
world. The partnership provides the technology and added geospatial
expertise for a five-year period.
To learn more about how Esri is helping preserve the earth’s ecosystems,
Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS)
software, location intelligence, and mapping, offers the most powerful
geospatial cloud available, to help customers unlock the full potential
of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969,
Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations including
90 of the Fortune 100 companies, all 50 state governments, more than
half of all counties (large and small), and 87 of the Forbes Top 100
Colleges in the U.S., as well as all 15 Executive Departments of the
U.S. Government and dozens of independent agencies. With its pioneering
commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most
advanced solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things
(IoT), and advanced analytics. Visit us at esri.com.
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