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Join Team Earth

Conservation International and United are partners in a cause that truly unites us all

Harrison Ford— acclaimed actor, conservationist and vice chairman of the board of directors of Conservation International— talks about his passion for our planet and the power of collaboration.

IT WOULD BE AN UNDERSTATEMENT to say that I am a frequent flyer. Or that I like to fly. I love to fly, and I fly as often as I can.

Aviation captured my imagination when I was very young. While I was in college in Wisconsin back in the ’60s, I scraped together enough money to take maybe five or six lessons in a TriPacer at the Wild Rose Airport. But $11 an hour was more than I could afford, and I couldn’t keep it up.

Times have changed for me, and now I’ve been lucky enough to have flown many different kinds of airplanes and helicopters.

I love the view from a plane, the way the earth looks from up there. Whether over the Snake River on my ranch in Wyoming or the jungle mesas of Venezuela, the view from the sky has given me a new appreciation for our planet. It’s more than just the beauty of undisturbed land. It’s that behind the majestic views I can see the fragility of our environment and why it is so important to conserve it.

Science Leads the Way. I started working with Conservation International more than 15 years ago because their mission is to improve the lives of all earth’s citizens by preserving the planet’s biodiversity— the land, water, and the vast array of plant and animal species that also call this planet home.

I truly feel a sense of stewardship about the land, and my work with CI has opened my eyes to the urgency of the issues our planet faces, like climate change. It is one of the great challenges of our time.

CI’s scientific team—in collaboration with some of the best thinkers in the world—has proven that more of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions result from the burning and clearing of tropical forests than from all the cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships in the world, combined. But it’s not just climate change. More than 1 billion people have very limited or no access to fresh water, and a new species goes extinct every 20 minutes. Our health relies entirely on the vitality of our one home: Earth.

The issues facing our world are too great and too immediate to ignore.

Team Earth. World leaders are coming together this year in Copenhagen to sign a new climate treaty. CI is part of the conversation, urging the protection of the planet’s tropical forests—the earth’s “lungs”—as an effective way to stabilize the climate by absorbing carbon dioxide.

This moment of change in our country and around the world is a real opportunity to seize the day, to come together to create change. A difference can be made by protecting even one acre of tropical forest for as little as $15. (Visit conservation.org/protectanacre to learn more.)

Working together with our partners, we at CI are launching a campaign called Team Earth to raise awareness of the importance of this battle for the future of all life on earth. The conservation battle is a war that can be and must be won, for our children and all the children of the world.

What we do today will set a course and an example for generations to come.

Team Earth is asking individuals, businesses and governments to come together to take real actions that benefit our planet’s natural resources—enabling all people to live healthier, better lives.

The Wayag Lagoon in Indonesia, where Conservation International is working with local
government officials and villagers to protect the coral reefs

Everyone, Everywhere. We’re working with companies that affect the environment, and that includes large multinational corporations like United. When they adopt better practices, corporations become important partners in protecting nature— and United is leading by example.

This isn’t the first time that United has partnered with CI to make a difference for the environment. In fact, their partnership goes back more than a decade, with efforts to get kids engaged in helping their environment.

Today, United and CI are collaborating to evaluate and develop innovative programs that would reduce or mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions of air travel. By working together, they can provide benefits to United’s customers, local communities and the earth’s climate.

Big issues like climate change can’t be solved by one company or one organization. But by joining together on Team Earth, the benefit to the planet is multiplied.

We want everyone in the world, every person on the planet, all 6.7 billion inhabitants, to understand that they must do their part to conserve, protect and restore nature.

I am proud to be a part of the launch of Team Earth. Last spring, I got personally involved by making a public service announcement, during which a patch of my chest hair was waxed off— a provocative, if imperfect, metaphor to express that deforestation and climate change hurt every person on earth.

The reality is that there is no far, no near, no somewhere else to go. What affects people in one part of the world impacts each of us, everywhere. We’re all in this together.

And together we can tackle these threats. We’ve done great things before, and now is the time for us to do them once more. The future doesn’t wait.

Isn’t it time to join Team Earth and our ongoing adventure? What do you say? Are you in?

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