Edward O. Wilson, one of the world's leading scientists, is the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Diversity of Life.
Dear Fellow Conservationist,
e are in the midst of an unprecedented period of the Earth's natural history in which human activities are threatening to impoverish our planet of its precious biological diversity. Whether in the coastal mountains of California, the coral reefs of Florida, or the cloud forests of the Andes, the life that sets our planet apart from all others is declining rapidly. By the Earth's clock, this is all happening in an instant in time.
Each of these natural habitats is a masterpiece of evolution-the common wealth and health of humanity. As the ecosystems that sustain us decline, so do we. We cannot ignore this decline, nor fail to respond to this challenge. For the stewardship of our Earth is not only a practical necessity, it is an ethical responsibility. To justify inaction under the pretext of inevitability would be tragic.
To face this problem, we need political will, a sense of hope, and focused investments in conservation, including accurate scientific information about the diversity of life on our planet. We need an organization like NatureServe.
NatureServe's unique role in the conservation community is to provide reliable, unbiased information about plants, animals, and ecosystems. There is no other information resource comparable to the authoritative database on the location and status of species and communities that it has compiled over the past thirty years. NatureServe applies this resource to innovative scientific work for conservation in the United States, Canada, and Latin America.
NatureServe is now being called upon to expand its work and its strategic role in conservation. And those of us in a position to help are called upon to do so as well. With an eye to the future, NatureServe has embarked on an endowment campaign to ensure its long-term sustainability while moving in exciting new directions. I urge you to join me in supporting this most worthy effort.
With new and emerging threats to our environment, NatureServe's scientific information, technologies, and services are needed now more than ever. Their work is one of the reasons that I remain hopeful about the future of life on Earth.
Edward O. Wilson
University Professor Emeritus and Honorary Curator in Entomology