Conservation evolved as a crisis discipline, born of environmental disasters of the past and driven by the possibility of future catastrophes.
Celebrating Global #EarthOptimism this Earth Day and beyond
Conservation evolved as a crisis discipline, born of environmental disasters of the past and driven by the possibility of future catastrophes. In some ways this remains the case, and there are certainly more than enough examples of bad environmental news to fill scientific journals and media stories.
However, there are growing signs of a new approach, one focused less on doom and gloom and more on solutions and success. This evolving change is itself the product of two forces: first, the recognition that fear without hope does not motivate people and indeed can produce disengagement, and second, that conservation already has many achievements to celebrate, which are not fully appreciated.
The result has been the emergence of both the need for, and examples of, a more positive framing of conservation and sustainability. Notable among these is a growth of “Optimism” efforts: over 60 Earth Optimism Summit gatherings of like-minded people and related activities around the world since 2017, mixed with social media campaigns including #OceanOptimism, #EarthOptimism, #ConservationOptimism and #ClimateOptimist.
It is now time to bring together these disparate sources of positive energy and unite them to build the Earth Optimism Alliance – a global movement aimed at fundamentally changing how we frame, discuss and deliver conservation, on the ground, in workplaces, and in our everyday lives.
Preliminary discussions have stressed the need for the alliance to foster the ability of participants to achieve their own goals related to environment and human well-being, but shared outcomes will be to:
- Activate – Move one billion people from overwhelmed to engaged.
- Inspire – Change the tone of the conservation conversation from problematic pessimism to optimism in all activities.
- Engage – Empower the next generation to replicate and scale up the successes we now have.
- Educate – Deliver public celebrations of success, including major Earth Optimism Summit events in 2020 and smaller Earth Optimism events leading up to 2020 and beyond.
- Amplify – Create a repository of credible environmental success stories from around the world, across diverse audiences, including conservation professionals, journalists, educators, other opinion formers, businesses, students, and make them available to the general public for digital sharing.
- Collaborate – Work together, across physical, academic and business borders, to promote optimism around the world leading up to Earth Day 2020 and beyond to realize as much success as possible towards global conservation goals. We need to eliminate silos that prohibit progress and share knowledge and best practices to achieve optimistic objectives.
Together we CAN do this!
Lessons from the Dodo
Carl Jones has saved more species from extinction than almost anyone else alive. Hear him explain the remarkable stories of how the Mauritius kestrel, the pink pigeon and the echo parakeet have been rescued – and how ground-breaking work with giant tortoises is now restoring near-extinct habitats too.
How many Species
By consulting a global network of experts on the world’s most threatened birds and mammals, Birdlife International’s Chief Scientist Stuart Butchart was able to investigate how many species would have gone extinct over the last three decades in the absence of conservation action. The answer reveals how effective conservation efforts can be, even in the face of extreme threats.
The Earth Optimism Nairobi Secretariat
P O Box 44486-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 (0)20 353 7568; +254 771 343 138/ +254 751 624 312/ +254 750149200