*This archived post was last updated in 2017
It’s no coincidence that GreaterGood.org picked April 22 to announce our new Signature Program, Project Peril. On April 22, 1970, 20 million people gathered across the country to show their support for the environment. People were beginning to understand the impact humans were having on the environment as we expanded into wildlands and polluted our common spaces. This first Earth Day was credited for spurring increased awareness for environmental issues, and turning environmentalism into a global movement. Now, 47 years later, Earth Day is more important than ever. Despite some big wins, our planet is in a lot of trouble—as are the millions of species that call Earth home.
That’s why we are dedicated to addressing one of the greatest threats to our earth today: loss in biodiversity. This loss is so great, it’s estimated that the current rate of extinction is 1,000-10,000 times higher than the historical rate of extinction. It’s so great that scientists have deemed this period in Earth’s history the “Sixth Extinction” – a man-made extinction that is making an irreversible dent in the disappearance of species throughout the world.
This Earth Day, Project Peril will continue to increase its commitment to protecting species on the brink of extinction. These are species that are facing imminent threats to their existence, listed as threatened with extinction on the world’s most comprehensive list of endangered species, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. These are also animals that are integral to their ecosystem (keystone species) or have no close relatives on the family tree (evolutionarily distinct). From cheetahs to pangolins to bumblebees, we are dedicated to saving wildlife to save our planet.