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 with Rob Miskosky

Hunt Fish 30x30

“... some scientists, including the Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson, have concluded that at least half the planet needs to be protected to save a large majority of plant and wildlife species from extinction. Indeed, the food, clean water and air we need to survive and prosper depends on our ability to protect the planet’s biological diversity. In other words, we have to protect half to save the whole.”
–  Hansjörg Wyss

So, who the hell is Hansjörg Wyss you ask? Well, he’s a billionaire philanthropist who was born in Switzerland and who founded the medical device company Synthes, which was later sold to Johnson & Johnson for $20.2 billion. Wyss now lives in Wyoming and is the founder of the Wyss Foundation.

In 2018, the Wyss Foundation launched the “Wyss Campaign for Nature”, a campaign that aims to protect 30% of the Earth by 2030. Wyss has committed $1-billion to this initiative and was hoping to make his mark at the UN Convention on Biodiversity COP15 Summit, which was set to take place in October 2020 but has now been postponed until 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UN summit will be held in Kunming, China.

However, the Wyss Campaign for Nature is making headway regardless, including right here in Canada where Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has joined the 30x30 initiative, and committed to conserving 30% of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2030.

According to Mongabay News, Justin Trudeau, Jacinda Ardern, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Prince Charles and Boris Johnson are among those who signed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, stating the world is in a “state of planetary emergency.” Written near the end of the Pledge for Nature, signed by Trudeau, it is written, “With this Pledge, we also aim to support the United Nations system and its fundamental role in catalysing the global response to this crisis in the upcoming decisive months and years.”

The Wyss Campaign for Nature has also launched a petition titled “Global Deal for Nature” stating, “Scientists are sounding the alarm, and people around the world are calling for a simple solution – protect and restore half of the planet in a natural state and sustainably manage all lands and oceans. The result is a planet where humanity and nature have a chance to flourish, even as global temperatures rise.

This is the kind of ambitious, clear goal that inspires everyone – citizens, governments, and businesses – to take the steps needed to save life on Earth. And the key to making it happen will be a major UN summit in China set for June 2021, where governments establish new global targets to protect the planet.”

Somehow, 30% blossomed to 50% in the petition’s wording but the billion-dollar question is – just what does all of this mean to hunters, anglers, and trappers? Because there is no denying it, like it or not, the protection of huge tracts of lands and oceans is coming. Just visit the petition at and watch the number of signatures climb. There were more than 3-million signatures (and climbing fast) at the time of this writing. So, how is this going to affect our outdoor pursuits?

In the US, many concerned outdoor organizations have come together to create the “Hunt Fish 30x30” website, looking to ensure that hunters and anglers are consulted where protection initiatives threaten outdoor activities, stating, “We support 30 by 30 policies that recognize hunting and fishing as well-managed and sustainable activities that are in harmony with other management goals. Maintaining the sense of connection to our abundant resources and unrivaled natural beauty that these activities provide is essential to ensuring we have natural resource and biodiversity stewards for the next century, just as we have had in the past.”

And, of course, there are many that are skeptical of the Wyss Foundation that gives money away to groups that would rather see the end of hunting, fishing, ranching, and off-highway vehicle use. According to E&E News, “Livestock officials criticize Wyss for funding groups that work to end grazing on public lands and back national monuments that ranchers argue result in more regulations.”

According to the Environmental Policy Alliance, an organization devoted to uncovering the funding and hidden agendas behind environmental activist groups, “The Wyss Foundation funds radical environmental groups including the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.” All organizations that don’t agree with everything you and I do outdoors.

Like it or not, under the rule of “green” governments, such as in Canada, change is coming, and coming soon. ■

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