TIME hotspot TIME hotspot Biodiversity hotspots, like this coral reef, are in desperate need of protection. This Is My Earth plans to make it easier for everyone around the world to make that happen. (Photo: This Is My Earth)

New crowdsourced conservation site lets donors do the talking

This Is My Earth will purchase and protect critical habitats under threat from human development.

If you're like us, a morning coffee or cup of tea is often enjoyed with an open web browser and an eye on the day's headlines. Along with everything else happening in the world, the news is increasingly inundated with stories focused on endangered species and conservation efforts. From behind a laptop or smartphone, lending a hand can sometimes feel daunting. How do we know our donation will go directly to helping species? Where and how will the money be used?

These questions are part of the founding principles behind the new organization This Is My Earth (TIME) and its forthcoming new crowdsourcing conservation initiative. The collaborative effort involves the participation of scientists, environmentalists and leaders from around the world, including China, Kenya, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. The organization aims to purchase and protect habitats critical to species and vital to the Earth's ecosystem.

Unlike other conservation organizations where donations are pooled and then doled out behind the scenes for various initiatives and expenses, TIME wants to involve every single donor in deciding how and where their contribution will be applied. A committee of conservation expects, chosen by the community, will annually select a number of potential hotspots around the world. Members will then vote on which specific location to fund and protect.

"Our goal is to significantly broaden international participation in protecting lands located in the most precious biodiversity hot spots on earth," Dr. Uri Shanas, professor of conservation biology at the University of Haifa in Israel, wrote. "By providing a democratic platform for citizens of the world to act and influence decision making via the single most important conservation management tool, preserving land and biodiversity, our new organization can help lead global conservation into a new era."

TIME voteAn example of the voting method members of TIME will be able to use to decide which biodiversity around the world deserve immediate protection. (Photo: This Is My Earth)

Thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign that went above and beyond the initial goal, TIME will now begin turning their website concept into a reality. Within a year, the group hopes to begin selecting threatened hotspots around the world, as well as building up membership to help fund their protection.

"We need your help in spreading the word," added Dr. Shanas. "Please tell your friends and family and please come join us on this journey to a better future!"


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