Our Resources

<< Back to all articles

“Talking about nature conservation is the same as talking about human conservation”

Would you say you are a committed artist? Is this what is meant by your practice you call “translucency”?

Well,  especially in Western societies, it seems like many of us have lost connection with the environment, and with the pandemic, we may have lost track of even one another. “Translucency” is just a word that I, and others I work with in Baltimore, give to work we’ve done but not taken credit for, but just doing the work in our communities, with others, like, “don’t put the attention on me, let’s face each other, let’s take care of whatever is going on.” In my artwork, I hope to immerse people in that same kind of experience.

You like to “imagine futures of repair.” How do you see them?

The word “repair” is being used a lot right now in the US. I think by using the concept of “repair,” we are acknowledging that some harm has been done, and that’s the first step for change. It takes courage to do that because we all know that, in the beginning, we will get upset. When you are acknowledging that the way you are living and the vision of those things you cherish, such as yourself or your community, is putting the world at risk, that is a painful act. It takes courage to unsettle somebody else, and it takes courage to live with not being in denial anymore about how reality really is. Repair does not mean only fixing something, or planting a tree (no offence to planting trees), but it is much deeper than that. In general terms, and using this planting-trees metaphor, if we want our reparation process to flourish, we need good soil. How are we going to cultivate change together without a strong foundation? That is why honesty and courage are so important. 

How does your work at the Goucher College affect your work?

I’m very fortunate to teach young people, in Peace Studies classes about imagination, narratives, and how… we understand things, and I learn a lot from my colleagues who teach about transitional justice [and] human rights. Conflict resolution and conflict transformation are becoming a very big part of my work and I love studying that with young people — having worked with them for 20 years, they don’t cease to amaze me. I really like spending time opening up space for thought and dialogue, in particular in a class where we imagine future cities and gardens. The first day, we start class with the question: “Where would it be impossible to have class?”

What feedback do you get from this question?

We come up with a list of impossible places to have class, and we always go through the list and come up with what we would need to make it happen, money- and technology-wise. For instance, what would we need to have class on the moon? Also, we analyze what norms stop us from not having class in certain places, or what is a proper educational environment. We immediately notice how often we get stuck, limited by predicting what will happen, instead of imagining what could. Saying “that’s not possible” is really saying “that’s not predictable.” But predictions are always based on understandings the past— and often limited understandings, speaking at least for myself.

Do you try to bring some of these ideas to the real world?

Certainly, and my more business-oriented students would try it in a very different [way] than my environmentally oriented students, and that creates a very collaborative atmosphere that I love to encourage

Why do you think imagination is so important for an environmentalist?

Because it’s intrinsic to our thinking– you can’t ask a question without your imagination— yet it’s dismissed as only important for children. I wake up in the morning and I think I know what will happen every day, but actually, I only know very little; every day could be terrible or fantastic. Being in an open space of not knowing is a great practice.

Have you been practicing the not-knowing way of living?

I’ve been a meditator for many decades, and I have also learned about Buddhism and its way of seeing life, but it is a daily work. That’s just one of the ways I’ve learned, though. To paraphrase a zen parable: all spiritual teachers (or any other influential learning we have) are just someone sitting by the river, selling water. The point isn’t them, or their “method” etc: it’s to find the river.

Probably your students are even less sure about what will happen to them while waking up every day than you…

That is true. New generations have so many new inputs and uncertainties, and therefore a very different way of connecting and engaging with life, certainly when it comes to nature conservation and [the] environment. I have great respect for them. When you really love teaching, actually what you really love is learning. My students come to class with so many projects and ideas, trying to find new ways of facing an obstacle and getting over it. Over the years I’ve learned that, most of the time, a big part of the obstacle is within themselves. So I support their work to connect with that inner self. Their imagination and power comes from there. 

Do you encourage them to be hopeful?

Well, I don’t like the word “hope” as much as “longing.” We need to stay connected to our unique passion in order to move forward. 

You are one of the authors in the All We Can Save book with your poem, “Did It Ever Occur to You That Maybe You’re Falling in Love?” In your poem, you talk about a “problem.” What is the “problem”?

I’m not going to explain the poem, but I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gotten asked about it. Sometimes when someone tells you “I don’t get it,” it’s just because that’s a part of all poetry: hard to reduce. Certainly, I don’t think “the problem” in the poem is only “love” itself. Climate activists might say “the problem” is climate change, social-justice activists might say it is about racism, and heartbroken people might think it’s about their past relationship. But a poem is not an idea, it’s more like a pattern, a feeling or an intuition, and this poem in particular started with a very strong pop-culture sense—at first I wanted to name it “Problem.com” — I was thinking about how industries create problems that other industries fix, and I myself can over-focus on a problem, to the extent that it’s hard to let go, and so the circle of problems never ends. 

You mean, somehow we are in an honesty crisis created by ourselves?

Well, I’m more interested in how rewarded we are for starting a nonprofit, for example, or having the next big idea, etc., to the point that we might be supporting the big “problem” industry more than the issue we care about.  Say someone gives a really great TED Talk, and then you meet this person face-to-face and she is a jerk, with no integrity and she’s making money off of other people’s problems. Or, funders or leaders become so focused on “problem-solving” that we ignore many possible ways forward, discounting viable alternatives because of notions we have about what’s predictable or “normal.” 

How does that effect your relationships?

I’m writing a lot about that, which always involves a little distance, understanding the way that I too, in the way I talk about my past relationships, become a character. I’m reflecting a lot about the way we engage with others and with the environment, and how it all relates to our capacity of being committed.

How has Buddhist practice affected your way of committing and relating to others?

I think it helps me get a little deeper and challenge myself to stay connected with the present moment— which I do maybe two percent of the day!. Also I’ve been asking myself if there’s more than the stories we tell ourselves to justify our actions and existence. In my experience, there is.

How can we orient all these powerful thoughts to nature conservation and climate change?

One way would be to change our point of view. We are talking about climate change from a human point of view and not acknowledging that. Talking about nature conservation is the same as talking about human conservation. We are all nature; it is not something out there. 

Why are we not doing that?

Perhaps because we’ve built a society and an idea of what progress means. But right now, there are a number of things, like objectively measured, changes happening, which are forcing us to adapt. I think a really profound adaptation is needed. Things are already very bad for a lot of people and species on the planet. To rephrase Professor Jem Bendell, whose work I’m not really familiar with but whose phrase I like, we need “deep adaption,” which I think of as widespread adaptations, small or large, and probably different in different people and communities.  And this requires looking more deeply at ourselves and the way human systems work.

From a conflict transformation perspective, would you say we are somehow fighting against nature?

My understanding of a conflict transformation approach is that it encourages an understanding of the ways we are working, and not just specific, sometimes more symptomatic battles we are fighting in any given moment. It requires mapping out the deeper conditions that affect our conflicts, so we can overcome their consequences.

What do you do to solve the ongoing conflict between us and the climate?

I go out of my office and have interactions with other humans. I think this is one of the most helpful things I can do. Of course, recycling, being aware of my carbon footprint, etcetera, but I think taking into account how… we interact with other humans is a powerful. Immeasurably so. How can we have an environmentalist approach together, in whatever way, when we’re so fragmented and separate. Even our attention is atomized. 

How do you see the current situation in the United States?

We are divided. We are in between two giant chunks who are basically not talking to each other. This dynamic is keeping us from having access to information, from learning and from having relationships with each other. In the US, I see the “climate people,” the ones talking about climate, and then those who understand but don’t talk, and then people who maybe don’t understand how our relationship with nature is unbalancing life on our planet.

You mean the more conservative people are farther from nature?

Not at all. In fact, a supporter of the politically conservative party might have an even closer relationship to nature than me, a Northeast city-liberal, depending on how or where they live. For instance, maybe they’re someone who’s spent all their life on a farm or a ranch, or is a hunter, or fosters animals. I’ve met many people who are alienated from environmentalist messages, not only conservatives but yes, many are, yet are incredibly close to the planet and to animals, perhaps even closer than some of the liberal supporters in the United States. Yet the powerful stories about climate change, global warming and [the] environment don’t make sense to them, for various reasons. But if there were a story that was consistent with the rest of their lives and values, I could really see us all working together.

We need to get inside their shoes…

That’s one way of putting it, yes, and there are many people trying to do that. In the United States, there are great movements and great resistances.

What do you think of our motto, “Big is small”?

Poetry is about seeing heaven in a grain of sand, to quote the English poet William Blake, so it’s all about how… we observe the world and experience it, and how active we become through our observation and experience. So I like This is My Earth’s motto. All sorts of actions matter. My Zen teacher has taught me to “bloom where you are planted,” meaning, just start with where you are; if each of us were taking care of where we are, a lot of things would get better. Not perfect! But better. I would like to see humility and honesty valued, leaders and politicians saying sorry when they make a mistake, learning in public, and the rest of us supporting the folks who do that

What would you tell someone to stop empowering “the problem”?

I would say, you can stop. You have a choice; we each do.


TiME ∙ Nov 22

1 min read

This QR saves the planet: SCAN IT!

DOWNLOAD this poster and print it! You are amazing! You will make a difference!  You can hang it in your college, in your workplace, in your school, in your gym, or share it on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, or Twitter! Hang it on the walls of your favorite cafe or bar. You can show it to your friends, and display…

TiME ∙ Nov 2

11 min read

The cloud forests of Colombia

Flowers, such as orchids and magnolias, don’t cross most people’s mind when thinking about conservation. It makes sense: we are used to seeing them inside cities, homes, gardens, and at weddings and events, but they are rarely depicted in wilderness photos, which emphasize greenery, desert, or snow much more than vibrant bloom. But these flowers…

TiME ∙ Nov 2

14 min read

“Talking about nature conservation is the same as talking about human conservation”

Would you say you are a committed artist? Is this what is meant by your practice you call “translucency”? Well,  especially in Western societies, it seems like many of us have lost connection with the environment, and with the pandemic, we may have lost track of even one another. “Translucency” is just a word that…

TiME ∙ Nov 2

13 min read

“People die in the name of nature conservation in my immediate surroundings” 

How is your life in South Africa? I am originally from Germany, and living in South Africa has been an adventure. I moved to South Africa just before the COVID-19 pandemic started. I was finishing my training and then I had to move back to Germany and go through quarantine and lockdown. Finally, I’ve managed…

TiME ∙ Nov 2

13 min read

“I want my children to see and enjoy nature, but I’ve seen nature declining everywhere I’ve travelled”

How would you introduce yourself? My name is Jonathan Meyrav, I live in Israel, I’m married with three kids and I’m first and foremost a bird-watcher. I have been bird-watching since I was a child, and birds are my life. For the last 20 years, I have been working with Birdlife Israel, which is part…

TiME ∙ Oct 23

10 min read

What happened to Scarface?: The most famous Jaguar in the world

Among the Mojo people of Bolivia, the prime candidates for the job of shaman were men who had survived a jaguar attack. The Olmec, the Maya, the Aztec and the Inca carved jaguar effigies into their temples, their spoons made from llama bones, their pot handles and their thrones. Some tribes in the Amazon drank…

TiME ∙ Oct 1

19 min read

“TiME is about sharing the word so that we can share the world more healthily”

We had the privilege to talk to Camille T. Dungy, poet and editor of the bestseller All We Can Save, about nature conservation, poetry and This is My Earth. In your poem “Characteristics of Life,” published in the book All We Can Save, the figure of the poet is presented as a powerful voice that…

TiME ∙ Oct 1

16 min read

“TiME is the only nature conservation nonprofit I know in which 100% of your donation goes to where it’s needed”

“We need to integrate all sorts of knowledge,” says Jordi Vilanova, PhD student and TiME volunteer. We had the chance to interview him before the beginning of his new adventure in Canada. What brought you to study Ecology and Biology? I’ve always been very interested in ecosystems and animals. When I started my Master’s, I…

TiME ∙ Oct 1

22 min read

“La fotografía de la naturaleza tiene que enseñar y despertar curiosidad y compasión por la biodiversidad”

[INTERVIEW IN SPANISH] – Entrevistamos a Santiago Rosado Hidalgo, biólogo y fotógrafo en la reserva El Silencio de Colombia, y colaborador de This is My Earth. Buenos días Santiago, ¿cómo te presentarías? Buenos días, mi nombre es Santiago Rosado Hidalgo, soy un biólogo colombiano y me dedico desde hace años a las estrategias de conservación…

TiME ∙ Oct 1

12 min read

The Cry of the Jocotoco

In 1997, the ornithologist Dr. Robert Ridgley and his scientific team discovered a new species of bird, until then unknown to science. It is a beautiful, long-legged, land-dwelling bird with a distinct call, from which its name, Jocotoco Antpitta, was derived. Deemed Endangered by the IUCN Red List, the Jocotoco is estimated to have only…

TiME ∙ Sep 12

13 min read

“We should let people understand the true cost of their choices because nobody is paying for the disaster that has been caused”

We had the privilege to hold an interview with Amanda Sturgeon, CEO of Built by Nature and contributing author to All We Can Save (allwecansave.earth), with her, we’ve discussed architecture, sustainability solutions and This is My Earth‘s contribution to nature conservation. How do you define yourself? I’m CEO of Built by Nature. I’m an architect,…

TiME ∙ Aug 28

10 min read

Wildlife trafficking is one of the world’s biggest international crimes

Wildlife trafficking is one of the world’s biggest international crimes Opinion column from Noga Syon - September 2022 (Part 2)

TiME ∙ Aug 28

9 min read

The transfer of animals from one location to another carries diseases, which spread and mutate easily

Wildlife trafficking is one of the world’s biggest international crimes Opinion column from Noga Syon - September 2022 (Part 1)

TiME ∙ Jul 16

3 min read

“If you want the funding you need your followers and fans to vote in your favor”

SAM SHANEE on WHY protect Biodiversity through THIS IS MY EARTH – PART 4/4  What makes This is My Earth so special? This is My Earth’s funding model based on supports through crowdfunding and voting is fairly unique and it helps the people and the organizations like us who are waiting for the funding, to…

TiME ∙ Jul 13

19 min read

“TiME is this little animal running under the nose of more prominent corporations and saving the land before it’s too late”

This is My Earth Interviews artist Tomer Baruch. Hi Tomer! Thanks for your time. Can you please introduce yourself to the This is My Earth community? My name is Tomer, I am a musician, and I’ve created an Instagram account named “Animals and Synthesizers.” In that account, I take animal videos and compose electronic music…

TiME ∙ Jul 11

2 min read

“This is My Earth has been great in securing financing for land purchases”

SAM SHANEE on WHY protect Biodiversity through THIS IS MY EARTH – PART 3/4 How has your experience with This is My Earth been? Over the last few years we’ve worked several times with This is My Earth, they’ve been very great in securing financing for land purchases to extend or to create new land…

TiME ∙ Jul 8

3 min read

“Local communities are, by far, the best allies for nature conservation”

SAM SHANEE on WHY protect Biodiversity through THIS IS MY EARTH – PART 2/4 Neotropical Primate Conservation (NPC) is a registered charity dedicated to the conservation of primates and their habitats in South and Central America. NPC aims to promote conservation and protect biodiversity in the Neotropics by working in several ways. NPC uses monkeys as…

TiME ∙ Jul 8

3 min read

This is My Earth explained in 1 minute

We have created this short video to explained most of the things we do: This is My Earth explained in 1 minute

TiME ∙ Jul 5

3 min read

“Even though there are wild areas with intact forest you can see that some of them don’t have any monkeys left”

SAM SHANEE on WHY protect Biodiversity through THIS IS MY EARTH – PART 1/4 Neotropical Primate Conservation (NPC) is a registered charity dedicated to the conservation of primates and their habitats in South and Central America. NPC aims to promote conservation and protect biodiversity in the Neotropics by working in several ways. NPC uses monkeys…

TiME ∙ Jul 4

6 min read

An electronic music party raises funds for TiME, and ocean animals are the performers

“An organism is an evening dedicated entirely to the seam between the animal and the life. A protected space where algorithms can flourish and animals know how to play.” This is how artist Tomer Baruch introduces the party that will take place on the night of July 4 in Tel Aviv. Co-organized by the good…

TiME ∙ Jun 26

2 min read

Ask This is My Earth for funding: Here is how

This is My Earth is always actively looking for new nature conservation projects that have a key scientific and environmental interest. As you know, ours is a crowdfunding system through which empowered citizens around the world make small (or large) donations, as a gift, individually or in group, and vote on which nature conservation project…

TiME ∙ Jun 22

2 min read

What can YOU do to protect the planet? Join TiME’s team and help us spread the word through a monthly newsletter!

This is My Earth (TiME) is looking for a volunteer to craft their monthly newsletter to members. TiME is a non-profit, international environmental organization that seeks to protect biodiversity by purchasing land for conservation in biodiversity hotspots, in collaboration with local communities and organizations. Join our team and help TiME spread the word about: ·…

TiME ∙ Jun 19

22 min read

“Insects have survived the last five mass extinctions our planet has faced; but this time is different”

Dave Goulson (born 30 July 1965)  is Professor of Biology (Evolution, Behaviour and Environment) at the University of Sussex. Specializing in the ecology and conservation of insects, particularly bumblebees, Goulson is the author of several books, including Bumblebees: Their Behaviour and Ecology (2003), Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypses (2021), and more than 200 academic articles. In 2006 he founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust,…

TiME ∙ Jun 14

2 min read

The first international meeting of TiME volunteers puts Communication on the agenda

The first international meeting of volunteers of This is My Earth · TiME was held in virtual format on June 13th. People from all over the world, under the coordination of the organization’s Director of Volunteers, Reut Gilad, contributed their ideas and visions on communication, collaboration and how to grow the conservation project for almost…

TiME ∙ Jun 13

3 min read

We have created This is My Earth’s Annual Report for you

This is My Earth 2021 annual report collects the most relevant milestones achieved by the organization in the fields of conservation and biodiversity. It is open access and contains a fully transparent report.

TiME ∙ May 22

7 min read

𝗕𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗙𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗔𝗹𝗹 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲: This is our TiME List of protected animals

Since This is My Earth started saving lands in danger in 2016, the list of species and animals that have since been protected has not stopped growing. The international motto chosen for Biodiversity Day 2022 is𝗕𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗔𝗹𝗹 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲, and its objective is to promote the idea that we are all part of…

TiME ∙ Apr 18

7 min read

Join EARTH DAY global campaign to #InvestInOurPlanet – Download our Action Toolkit!

This is My Earth joins #InvestInOurPlanet campaign on the occasion of the Earth Day 2022 with a video and materials created by our network of volunteers.

TiME ∙ Mar 16

4 min read

Some highlights from the IPCC Climate Report

The Working Group from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from the United Nations invited TiME · This Is My Earth as a guest organization at the press conference where the 6TH ASSESSMENT REPORT – Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability was presented. On 27 February 2022, this international Working Group from the United Nations finalized…

TiME ∙ Feb 22

7 min read

History of the region’s Cacau-cabruca · Chronicles from Brazil

In 2020, hundreds of volunteers from all over the world helped us save an endangered land in the Sierra Bonita area of ​​Brazil (Google Maps +). Together, through TiME, we raised US$ 148,373 which helped Instituto Uiraçu organization – our partner in the area – to get down to work with the task of preserving…

TiME ∙ Feb 22

9 min read

Biodiversity faces its make-or-break year

The  United Nations decade-old plan to slow down and eventually stop the decline of species and ecosystems by 2020 has failed as most of the plan’s 20 targets have not been met. Among the strategic goals which have not been accomplished, there is the need to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity…

TiME ∙ Feb 20

3 min read

Scientists map 80% of unknown species

New map shows where the 80% of species we don’t know about may be hiding in the very interesting study "Shortfalls and opportunities in terrestrial vertebrate species".

TiME ∙ Dec 30

9 min read

TiME’s Newsletters

Here you will find links to the 50+ newsletters we have published in recent years. Don’t miss the opportunity, if you haven’t already, to register and receive our emails with our latest updates, news and campaigns in our action of nature protection, education and solidarity. 2021 December 2021 – Let’s go viral September 2021 – Nature based…

TiME ∙ Dec 29

2 min read

The ecological impact of war in Africa

Today’s declining number of large mammals around the world has been explained by many factors, including low reproductive rates, habitat destruction, and overhunting. However, uncertainties about the effects of armed conflict has complicated conservation planning and priority-setting efforts. In the past 70 years, humans have waged war continuously in the world’s most biodiverse regions. Between…

TiME ∙ Nov 30

6 min read

This is My Earth in Kenya with Professor Uri Shanas

The following interview with founder and co-chair Uri Shanas was published in our August 2016 newsletter: Hello, Uri. You’ve recently returned from Kenya. Can you tell us why you went? Kenya is one of the last places on earth where one can experience nature in all its might and beauty, so I was excited to visit TiME’s…

TiME ∙ Nov 29

3 min read

Chatting with Jasmine, a 12-year old TiME supporter

We spoke to Jasmine, daughter of two of TiME’s Board of Directors, Ondine Sherman and Dror Ben-Ami. She recently donated 1800 NIS (about 470 USD) to TiME, nearly a third of the gift money she received for her Bat Mitzvah. First of all, we asked Jasmine to explain a Bat Mitzvah: Jasmine: “In Jewish culture,…

TiME ∙ Nov 28

3 min read

A visit to TiME’s first biodiversity hotspot land purchase

“Please, Nestor, please continue to point out the orchid flowers,” I cried almost breathlessly to the CEO of Neotropical Primate Conservation (NPC) while we climbed up the land TiME had just purchased. “You know we both need these stops so we can catch our breath.” Nestor Allgas and I were trying to keep pace with…

TiME ∙ Nov 25

1 min read

Protecting megafauna and raising money for conservation

This piece was published in our March 2017 newsletter:

TiME ∙ Nov 21

4 min read

Ivory Belongs to Elephants

Since the dawn of humanity, we have been actively fighting nature: drying swamps, cutting down forests, using strong pesticides (such as DDT) and hunting wildlife to extinction (think of the dodo, Tasmanian tiger, passenger pigeon and many, many more). Today, experts believe that we are facing a sixth mass extinction, which is entirely attributable to…

TiME ∙ Nov 20

6 min read

Gold in Africa – an interview with Henry Gold, TiME board member

For TiME’s February 2017 newsletter we interviewed board member Henry Gold, co-founder of Canadian Physician for Aid and Relief (CPAR)and TDA Global Cycling: You worked in Africa for quite a few years. Can you tell us what kind of work you were doing? I’m trained as an engineer, but in 1984 I quit engineering and…

Keep up with our news and events

Get news and updates in your inbox

Subscribe to  and get our latest conservation news, project
updates, articles and more in your inbox once a month.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.