WASHINGTON, DC, July 16, 2002 (ENS) - Comparing the human heart to the Earth's most vital biological regions, actor and conservationist Harrison Ford explains how biodiversity is essential for a healthy planet in a public service ad campaign launched this week by Conservation International.
"The human heart. Only one percent of your body weight, but critical to your survival. Our Earth has places, just over one percent of its surface, which are critical to our survival," says Ford in the ad.
"They're called biodiversity hotspots, and Conservation International is fighting to protect them before they disappear forever. These hotspots are home to over 60 percent of the world's species. Plants and animals that provide food and medicine that clean our air and water. That keep our planet alive," he says.
The 25 biodiversity hotspots cover just 1.4 percent of the Earth's land surface, yet claim more than 60 percent of total terrestrial species diversity. Under extreme threat, many hotspots have lost more than 90 percent of their original natural habitat.
Conservation International (CI) is a global, field based environmental group that works to protect biological diversity. By working through local and international partnerships, CI uses a strategic, scientific approach targeting the biodiversity hotspots, tropical wilderness areas and key marine ecosystems.
"Conservation International's message is positive, and I while think people need to understand the urgency of species extinctions, they also need to see that there is a solution that they can help support," said Ford.
Ford has served on Conservation International Board of Directors for more than 10 years and has actively participated in the strategic design and growth of the organization. Ford has been honored with a number of environmental awards including, most recently, the 2002 Global Environmental Citizen Award bestowed by the Harvard Medical School.