Statement on Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Half-Earth Project
The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is calling on people everywhere to participate in a “moonshot” to care for our planet. Such efforts require broad collaboration across sectors and geographies and the contributions of diverse voices, perspectives, expertise and experience.
We acknowledge that centuries of racism, violence, discrimination, and marginalization have obstructed participation of communities of color, including Black, Latinx, Indigenous and Asian people in conservation globally. We acknowledge that barriers persist, despite the importance of these individuals and communities as both stakeholders and stewards, communities from which the world has much to learn. Further, we recognize that the same people who have been systematically excluded from the process are disproportionately impacted by the consequences of habitat loss and climate change, including degraded air, land, and water, perpetuating a cycle of harm and exclusion.
We commit to be part of breaking this cycle. We commit to prioritizing listening and taking clear steps externally and internally to combat racism and oppression of all types. We commit to working toward justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in our leadership, our programs, our strategic planning, our operations, our communications, and our fundraising. We commit to creating a culture at the foundation that educates staff and stakeholders on issues of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and holds opportunities for traditionally excluded groups to join in the operational processes, activities, and decision-making. We welcome and encourage feedback along the way.
We commit to understanding that this body of work IS our work if we are to achieve the goal of Half-Earth and benefit all people and species.
Working with Indigenous Communities
The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation honors the local knowledge and wisdom of the traditional owners and stewards of the lands and waters we aim to protect. We acknowledge their ancient ways of seeing and experiencing nature. We thank our partners in Indigenous communities for their historic and ongoing stewardship of the natural world, their critical role in reaffirming and repairing our relationship with it, and their present and future partnership.
Our work in collaboration with Indigenous Mozambican scientists in Gorongosa National Park, and amplification of Indigenous Knowledge in our advocacy and outreach exemplifies our approach to understanding and caring for the natural world. Further, we fully support Indigenous rights and abide by Free and Prior Consent principles protected by international human rights standards and supported by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity that state, “all peoples have the right to self-determination” and – linked to the right to self-determination – “all peoples have the right to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
Identify the indigenous stewardship and culture(s) of the land on which you live at https://native-land.ca/.