If you had a billion dollars, what would you do with it? Questions with dollar amounts like this are age-old questions. However, one Swiss philanthropist, Hansjörg Wyss, is taking $1 billion of his own money and giving it back to the environment.
One of Switzerland’s wealthiest billionaires, Hansjörg Wyss, is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, and founder, and former president, of Synthes, which he sold to Johnson & Johnson for $20 billion several years ago (though he was already a billionaire). Living in Wyoming, he’s been a longtime conservation advocate, creating the Wyss Foundation, to help conserve the environment, a decade ago. However, as Business Insider reports, this act of giving $1 billion toward the environment is no small act. Business Insider shares more:
Such a large increase in conservation would widen the availability of clean air and drinking water, and prevent the extinction of many species. Researchers at Brown University have found that animal and plant species are going extinct 1,000 times faster than they did prior to human activity.
Greg Zimmerman, the communications director at the Wyss Campaign for Nature, told Business Insider that the foundation supports projects that are locally-driven instead of dictating how to protect land.
“What we found over the years is that if it’s not being driven by folks who live in these communities, if there’s not local buy-in, then you’re going to have a political problem, you’re going to have a problem of these places [not] being protected permanently,” Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman said the Wyss Foundation’s eventual aim is to help conserve half of the planet. Reaching 30% is still hugely ambitious, but Wyss wrote he believes it’s an achievable goal.
Read the full story on Business Insider.
Meanwhile, read more of the latest conservation news below, and subscribe to receive the top news delivered straight to your inbox.
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