The Wyss Campaign for Nature is a $1 billion investment to help communities, indigenous peoples, and nations conserve 30% of the planet in its natural state by 2030.

The Wyss Campaign for Nature is a $1 billion investment to help communities, indigenous peoples, and nations conserve 30% of the planet in its natural state by 2030.


Wyoming, United States of America – Hansjörg Wyss (born 19 September 1935) is a Swiss entrepreneur, businessman, and philanthropist. He is the founder and was president, then chairman, of Synthes USA, until its sale in 2012. Wyss lives in Wyoming and has supported philanthropic causes relating to environmental protection, social justice, and science.

His contributions led to the establishment of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University in 2009, and he created the Wyss Foundation, which aims to conserve natural environments, including public lands in the Western United States, Africa, and South America.

As of 2017, Wyss has a net worth of US$5.6 billion, according to Forbes.

According to Forbes, Wyss is “among the most philanthropic people in the world”. Between 2004 and 2008, Businessweek estimated that Wyss personally donated nearly USD$277 million. His giving has increased since the sale of Synthes in 2012 and in 2013 he signed The Giving Pledge, agreeing to give away the majority of his fortune.

The assets of his charitable foundations equal nearly $2 billion.

His primary philanthropic causes are the environment, social justice, and science, but he frequently contributes to historical projects and European museums. The Wyss Foundation, a charitable organisation he founded, has awarded grants for environmental protection as well as to progressive policy organisations, including the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Health Leads, and the Constitutional Accountability Center.

The Wyss Foundation’s landscape protection strategies have included assisting the purchase of mineral leases from oil and gas companies. Other causes the Wyss Foundation supports includes river restorations, ocean conservation in Peru and Canada, anti-poaching efforts in Africa, and environmental journalism. In 2017, the organization announced a charitable commitment of $65 million to African Parks, a conservation NGO overseeing ten parks in seven African nations, to help create new protected areas in Africa.

Environmental protection

As of 2017, Wyss and the Wyss Foundation have donated more than $350 million to environmental protection, including conservation of national forests and other public lands in the Western United States.

Our planet’s wildlife and wild areas are disappearing quickly:

  • Nearly two-thirds of the Earth’s wetlands and half of all rainforests are already gone.
  • The planet has lost 60% of its wildlife populations since 1970.
  • More than 26,000 wildlife and plant species are now at risk of extinction

To confront this conservation crisis, the Wyss Foundation is launching a $1 billion campaign, called the Wyss Campaign for Nature.

The campaign’s goal is to help conserve 30% of the planet in a natural state by the year 2030 by creating and expanding protected areas, establishing more ambitious international conservation targets, investing in science, and inspiring conservation action around the world. Only by dramatically increasing the capacity of communities, indigenous peoples, and nations to conserve lands, waters, and wildlife can we hope to safeguard the natural world upon which we all depend.

“Each investment we make in conservation is an enduring investment in democracy.” – Hansjörg Wyss

The international community will have the opportunity to establish these new targets when parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in China in 2020.

These targets set by the Convention on Biological Diversity establish a minimum percentage of land and water that nations across the globe agree to place into conservation status to protect critical ecosystems. Scientists report that the current goals of 17% of each country’s terrestrial area and 10% of each country’s ocean waters are inadequate to ensure the survival and health of most major ecosystems.

This effort to increase international conservation ambition includes a partnership with The National Geographic Society to raise public awareness about the global conservation crisis and to inspire citizens, policy-makers, and other philanthropic organisations to help accelerate the protection of Earth’s lands, waters, and wildlife.

“Earth’s wild places cannot be saved by the hands of a few. The fate of our natural world depends on our collective ability to conserve our planet and share its bounties with one another.” – Hansjörg Wyss

Sources: Hansjörg Wyss | Wyss Campaign 
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