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VIDEO RELEASE: A Letter from COVID-19 and Videos Featuring Celebrities, Environmental Advocates Mark the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

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Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) changed its name to Re:wild in 2021

For immediate release

April 21, 2020

As the world prepares to digitally celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this week amid a global pandemic, Global Wildlife Conservation is releasing videos on social media featuring environmental and pop culture icons, and highlighting the interconnected nature of life on Earth.

The first video, a letter from COVID-19 to humankind, launched April 20. The video gives a voice to the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, explaining why it may have jumped from its original host animal species. Narrated against a backdrop of alternating images of pristine healthy nature and destruction, the video illustrates the link between the shrinking biodiversity of the planet and pandemics that claim human lives. The imagery builds until the virus finally asks humankind, “Am I enough?” The video marks the launch of ExtinctionEndsHere.org--a new campaign calling for a paradigm shift in people’s relationship with nature. In less than 24 hours, this video had been viewed at least 2.3 million times and collectively shared at least 50,000 times.

[Embed the video from YouTube]

As its first action, #ExtinctionEndsHere is calling on people and organizations around the world to sign the Declaration to #EndTheTrade, which calls for an end to the commercial trade and sale in markets of wild terrestrial animals for consumption—the likely source of the current COVID-19 pandemic and one of the major drivers of extinction. The declaration already has more than 30,000 signatures and has been endorsed by nearly 200 organizations. Celebrities who have supported the Declaration to #EndTheTrade include environmental activists and Academy Award®-winning actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton, and singer-songwriter Bryan Adams. 

Earth Day videos

In addition, GWC will release a new Earth Day video each day April 22 through April 26. Each video tells a personal story of its narrator’s unique connection to nature. GWC will send out a media advisory every day at 10 a.m. EST starting on April 22 to make that day’s video available.

April 22—Commander Chris Hadfield narrates a video about viewing the Earth from space and its profound effect on him. The experience, which is not uncommon in astronauts and known as the overview effect, puts in sharp perspective for him that all life on Earth is connected. He invites viewers to flip the narrative about humans’ relationship with the Earth and climate change. And he asks them to stop viewing themselves as separate from the Earth, but instead as very much a part of it.

April 23—Renowned environmental photographer, Cristina Mittermeier, describes her passion for the oceans and the foundation they create for all life on Earth. She invites viewers to remember that humans, as well as the planet, are made of water, making their survival perpetually linked. 

April 24—Nemonte Nenquimo, a Waorani leader, used her voice to defend her tribe from attempts to open Waorani lands for oil extraction in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Guided by tribal knowledge passed down for generations, she invites viewers to join her and other indigenous women to become guardians for nature. 

April 25—Confirmed cynic, producer and writer for The Simpsons, George Meyer, explains how his initial skepticism of Earth Day 50 years ago bloomed into a deep appreciation for the planet that permeated his writing.  

April 26—Eight-year-old budding conservationist, Kena Moore, describes his ambitions for the future, including inventing a submarine to help remove plastic from the oceans. In the more immediate future, he encourages viewers to follow his lead and help pollinators living around their own homes.

To watch and share the videos, visit Global Wildlife Conservation’s social media handles: 

Facebook @globalwildlife 

Twitter @global_wildlife 

Instagram @global_wildlife_conservation 

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Global Wildlife Conservation

GWC conserves the diversity of life on Earth by safeguarding wildlands, protecting wildlife and supporting guardians. We maximize our impact through scientific research, biodiversity exploration, habitat conservation, protected area management, wildlife crime prevention, endangered species recovery, and conservation leadership cultivation. Learn more at https://globalwildlife.org

Contact

Lindsay Renick Mayer

Global Wildlife Conservation

lrenickmayer@globalwildlife.org

512-686-6225

Devin Murphy

Global Wildlife Conservation

dmurphy@globalwildlife.org

512-686-6188

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