Billionaire Buys 15% of the Planet to Protect It

Wyoming billionaire pledges to purchase around 15% of the planet, doubling the amount of protected lands and waters on Earth

Since the creation of the world’s first national park, Yellowstone, in 1872, 15 percent of the earth’s lands and 7 percent of its oceans have been protected in a natural state.

But some scientists have concluded that at least half the planet needs to be protected to save a large majority of plant and animal species from extinction.

A multi-billionaire has pledged $1 billion to get us closer to that goal.

The money will be used to “create and expand protected areas” with the goal of protecting 30 percent of the planet’s surface by 2030.

The 83-year-old Swiss-born steel magnate Hansjörg Wyss — who’s now an avid outdoorsman living in Wyoming — has already donated $450 million to protect 40 million acres of land and water across the globe since the establishment of the Wyss Foundation in 1998.

Wyss has also supported anti-poaching efforts, river restoration projects, African national park improvements, rails-to-trails initiatives and land conversation in his beloved adopted home, the American West.

He’s also pulled a handful of high-profile maneuvers to stop fossil fuel industries from degrading protected lands.

The new Wyss Campaign for Nature adds $1 billion more toward those efforts.

“Already, the campaign has identified nine locally led conservation projects spread across 13 countries — 10 million acres of land and 17,000 square kilometers of ocean in total — that will receive $48 million in assistance,” Mother Nature Network reports.

The first nine conservation projects to receive grants are:

1. Aconquija National Park and the National Reserve Project in Argentina

2. The Ansenuza National Park Project, also in Argentina

3. Costa Rica’s proposed Corcovado Marine Reserve

4. The multi-country Caribbean Marine Protected Areas initiative

5. The Andes Amazon Fund, which impacts Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil and Guyana

6. Romania’s Fundatia Conservation Carpathia, which spearheads conservation efforts in the Carpathian Mountains

7. The Edéhzhíe Dehcho Protected Area and National Wildlife Area in Canada’s Northwest Territories

8. Australia’s Nimmie-Caira Project

9. The Gonarezhou National Park Project in Zimbabwe

Funds will be granted to additional projects over the next 10 years.

“I believe this ambitious goal is achievable because I’ve seen what can be accomplished,” Wyss writes in an editorial for the New York Times.

“We need to embrace the radical, time-tested and profoundly democratic idea of public-land protection that was invented in the United States, tested in Yellowstone and Yosemite, and now proven the world over.”





24 responses to “Billionaire Buys 15% of the Planet to Protect It”

  1. Madelon Daniels Avatar
    Madelon Daniels

    More power to Mr. Wyss!

  2. Joyce Pardon Avatar

    Why doesn’t he do this through or with E.O.Wilson’s half earth organization???!!! Is he unaware, in competition, or what?

  3. Keith Swenson Avatar

    This is a good use of a billionaires wealth. We need to protect up to 50% of the earths surface in a mosaic of various and connected protected areas if we are to survive as a species and not bring about the decimation of all other life with us. Would love to see him here in Mongolia.

  4. Max Avatar

    Wonderful plan. I hope it will come true. Me snd my wife just did two weeks volhnteer work at elephant nature park in Thailand. Lek Chailard id the founder and together wigh her husband Derek the motor of this eonderful nature park dedicated to saving elephants from the torture of logging tourist rides begging forced breeding. In ENP there are no chains no bullhooks and elephant welfare is foremost. there are 84 elephants 150 buffalo saved from slaughter, mistreated horses, goats ,cows, some monkeys, cats and dogs. Work id doneby volunteers and paud workers from surounding villages and mahoutsthst came with the elephants or got the job because of their experience
    The park is like a natural oasis where animal welfare is foremost but also local economy is supported. The park offers a lot of paid work for the people and stimulates ecological enterprise and supports women independence and equality
    Lek and Derek in my mind are saints. They work to save animals and find ways to make not exploiting elefants in harmful ways a profitable and ecological reality
    It would be wonderful if the esteemed biljionaire could support Lek Derek and their present and future undertakings. Their way is truly ecological and restores balance in our unbalanced and far astray nature

  5. Walter Rasso Avatar

    Glad to hear someone is interested in keeping Mother Earth healthy!!
    And I hope, because he’s European, the “Billion” it’s the real billion!!!
    When they talk about billions, no many people,KNOWS what it’s!!!

  6. Elizabeth Seltzer Avatar
    Elizabeth Seltzer

    Thank Goddess for this man!!!
    I hope other similarly wealthy people follow his example.
    A much better use of Gates money than experimenting on 3rd world people for the drug companies.

  7. Jeremy Stacey Avatar
    Jeremy Stacey

    I love to see someone putting thier money into things that actually matter.
    One question. Do you know how much of this land will be protecting our old growth forests? This is one of the most important areas to protect as they are an oasis for biodiversity and play a huge role in climate change mitigation.


  8. Kris Avatar

    Brazil should be a priority with the current president intending to clear cut the Amazon.

  9. Josef Gavette Avatar

    What does he plan to do for bison?

  10. Richard Schoenborn Avatar
    Richard Schoenborn

    I would like to volunteer my time to this effort.

  11. Edward Averill Avatar

    Sounds great. Would it double the benefit if the protected land had been planned for mining or extraction?

  12. Faqir Ullah Khan Avatar
    Faqir Ullah Khan

    What an interesting investement for future generation. Kindly focus on protection and upgradation of mountain ranges in Pakistan particularly Gilgit-Baltistan as well. Your initiatives will be welcomed!

  13. Sherry Harvey Avatar
    Sherry Harvey

    An awesome man for being more than generous with the world in which we all live. I know we all.can make a small difference as well. Maybe we don’t have a billion dollars to contribute but we can do our part. Thank you for your amazing generous heart!!

  14. trumpblast Avatar

    if this billionaire is so willing to donate large sums of money to preserve land as semi wild , I would like to hear from him !!

  15. Valerie Johnson Avatar
    Valerie Johnson

    You can buy my 15 acres in the Ozarks right now $35k cash.

  16. Eloenia Avatar

    I think this is going to be resolved and protect, what consciously to humans with a very serious purpose in help Nature is a great project to reactivate nature well protected.good iniative!

  17. Mary Avatar

    How can you protect the public land from the government? TRUMP has taken public land (bears ear)and turned over to fossil fuel industry?

  18. Carol Nichols Avatar

    YES! It’s about time someone with the necessary resources has a heart in the Earth’s best interest and is committed to acting on behalf of our Mother Earth and her creatures. Hurray! And I, among many, am grateful and thank Mr. Weiss from the depth of my heart:) What a giant of a man. I feel a sense of Peace and Love from learning about this act of generosity of Spirit.

  19. Jerry Prager Avatar
    Jerry Prager

    This is great news, but British Commoners fought for their rights to access living spaces in 1217 when they forced King John and his Barons to add the Charter of the Forests to the Magna Carta, (a deal that was only between the Crown and the Norman lords signed two years earlier.) America’s public living spaces were seized through genocide and land theft.
    Still though, if the love of money is the root of all evil, the love of life is the root of all good. So kudos.

  20. Rowena Masters Avatar
    Rowena Masters

    How awesome! If I had that much spare funds I would get involved with a project still in the planning stages of reintroducing water to the Kalahari in Botswana. Really amazing plan. Good luck xx

  21. Kate Lawler Avatar
    Kate Lawler

    Wonderful, God Bless that incredibly Smart man! <3

  22. Trish Avatar

    Just think if all of the 1% did this!

  23. Mike Winer Avatar
    Mike Winer

    Most the remaining 30% of undamaged land on the planet lies within the last indigenous homelands – be careful of new age green colonisation – WYSS specifically claims to support only Western conservation and mirrors racist PEW models

  24. melanie reising Avatar
    melanie reising

    his name should be a house hold word and everyone should know who this hero is!! i wish a billionair would fund young farmers and encourage small farms as a way to make a living because we all have to EAT and our food needs to come from local lands.