From citizen science to activism and rebellion for the planet: 20 years of Biosphere Expeditions

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From citizen science to activism and rebellion for the planet: 20 years of Biosphere Expeditions

“Sitting on our hands is simply not an option any more”, says Dr. Matthias Hammer, executive director of award-winning non-profit Biosphere Expeditions. The citizen science NGO was founded in 1999 and has worked in wildlife conservation ever since, with impressive results worldwide. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, but more importantly because the undeniable crisis our planet is in demands more action and activism, it has created 20 tips on how to be (radically) greener.

Hammer explains that “in our first 20 years, we were focused on citizen science and wildlife conservation (see the 20 year anniversary magazine). We will continue with this focus, but this, we feel, is no longer enough. The breakdown of our planetary life support systems demands more action and activism. It demands a radical rethink of how we run our lives, societies and the way we treat our planet.”

The 20 tips go from the light green of what we should all do as a bare minimum, to the dark green rejection of neoliberalism and the fallacy of endless growth, to joining the revolution that is gathering pace as we speak.

“Because sitting on our hands is simply not an option any more”, says Hammer. “We have a duty to act if we want to be able to look our grandchildren in the eyes. On our 20th anniversary, we joined the revolution and we are becoming more activist for the sake of our planet. We need 25% of the population to reshape society. Be on the right side of this revolution and join us now!”

20 tips for 20 years: how to be (radically) greener

Biosphere Expeditions was founded in 1999 and to celebrate its 20th anniversary has created 20 tips on how to tbe green. In our first 20 years we were focused on citizen science and wildlife conservation (see our 20 year anniversary magazine). We will continue with this focus, but this, we feel, is no longer enough. The undeniable crisis our planet is in demands more action and activism. It demands a radical rethink of how we run our lives, societies and the way we treat our planet. We have a duty to act if we want to be able to look our grandchildren in the eyes. On our 20th anniversary, we joined the revolution and we are becoming more activist for the sake of our planet. Join us now and look at our 20 tips!

20 years of Biosphere Expeditions 1999 – 2019

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
Søren Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard was right in many ways, as by looking back over the last twenty years we can see what Biosphere Expeditions is all about. Having started in a small way with only two expeditions, we have – through our participants, staff and partners – contributed hundreds of thousands of days to conservation all over the world, supporting many NGOs and scientists to acquire the data and funding they need to make an impact. You can read in the anniversary issue of our annual magazine about the difference that this work has made to many places and people.

And what about the planet, the living biosphere, what difference have we made to that? We have spent the last twenty years helping to build the data that improves the chances for wildlife. And we will continue to do this essential work, as without the science underpinning our understanding of the world, we cannot make rational choices in support of its future. But we need to do more, especially these days, when it is difficult sometimes to be positive about the global environment. So for the next twenty years we are also going to be doing more campaigning – talking about limits to growth and new economic/environmental models that might work better for the long-term health of our planet. We will be talking about vegetarianism and making your flights matter – travelling with a purpose, in fact, living more thoughtfully. And this talking will make a difference as the answers are in our hands and through discussion and collaboration, we can effect positive change. Everything that we do now, in this anthropocene, this time of humans, matters. The latest science shows that things need to change now, and Biosphere Expeditions will play its part.

Watch this space/blog for further developments as our anniversary year progresses.

Dr. Matthias Hammer | Kathy Gill
Executive Director | Strategy Adviser