14 April 2016 - 6 Nisan 5776 - ו' ניסן ה' אלפים תשע"ו
Israeli professor wants to purchase 1.4% of the Earth E-mail

Professor Uri Shanas of the University of Haifa at Oranim has started a campaign to launch an organisation for the conservation of natural species worldwide, and donations have surpassed expectations.

How much would it cost to save the world? As it turns out, not that much. At least that’s what Professor Shanas, who has started a crowd funding proj­ect that aims to preserve the biological diversity in danger of extinction on Earth, believes. In just a few weeks, the profes­sor managed to pass his initial target sum of US$20,000, and donations are still coming in.

Professor Shanas, a faculty member of the Department of Biology and Environment at the University of Haifa, has started an open, democratic, in­ternational “purchasing group” whose entire purpose is to save the planet.

“We don’t have to, and we can’t, defend the Earth at all times,” said Shanas. “But if we can preserve the part that has an extraordinary diversity of plants and animals that are at risk of extinction, we can stop the dis­appearance of species that is happening today.”

Professor Shanas asked for help from the public in raising funds to create an organisation dedicated to the conservation of the world’s species. He said there are already many species of plants and animals in dan­ger of going extinct, with the list only growing with global warming and the continued de­struction of open pastures.

“We don’t always know what the extraction of one spe­cies from the system will do, but there are examples of sys­temic collapse that went so far as to affect mankind that were the result of one species’ extinc­tion. For instance, the extinction of the sea otter in the Pacific Ocean caused a rise in local sea urchin populations, which ate the algae in the area, causing fish populations to starve, caus­ing many fishermen to lose both their livelihood and food sup­ply,” he explained.

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