Earth Day 2020

April 22, 2020

WCS Staff on 5 Continents Reach for Hope As 3 Crises Tear Apart Our Planetary Home

With heavy hearts but with awe-inspiring spirit, more than 30 WCS staff from 5 continents recorded messages of hope for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, 2020.

Even before our families and communities began facing the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic, our planet was under assault from the climate crisis and biodiversity extinction.

Our team in New York working in our four zoos and the aquarium, and our global team working in field sites in nearly 60 countries have dedicated their lives to protecting nature. And even as these 3 crises seem impossible to beat back, our WCS staff won’t have anything to do with giving up the fight or giving in to despair.

From Africa, North America, South America, Asia and Europe – hear, feel and see their hope in these video messages.

“On this 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, let us reflect on our relationship with nature, and let us work together to build a future and a planet where wildlife thrives on land and sea, and societies can embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on Earth.” —Cristián Samper, President and CEO

New York City

“My hope for the future is that Earth Day is no longer an annual reminder to the world for the need to protect the environment….rather, it should be a daily commitment from each and every one of us to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to protect the environment today and for the generations to come.” —Colleen McCann, WCS Bronx Zoo Curator of Mammals


The Americas

“My hope for the future is that we, as a society, as individuals, make the decision that allows us to live in harmony and safety with wildlife, and that we can all keep enjoying the benefits we receive from nature.” —Catalina Gutierrez, WCS Colombia Country Program Director

“On the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, my wish is that the world’s governments and citizens work for the conservation of our planet, our only home.” —Sebastian Valdevieso, WCS Ecuador Country Program Director


“My hope is that my children will remember our generation as one that gave hope for the environment, that saved it, and not one that ravaged it.” —Marianne Chiam, WCS Malaysia Senior Communications Officer

“My hope for the future of the planet is for everyone to work towards promoting and inspiring conservation actions on our wildlife and natural resources across the globe.” —Bulou Vitukawalu, WCS Fiji Country Program Fisheries Assistant

Seeing is Believing: Earth's Climate Crisis

Today, we are also launching a new web feature. Here we will post on an ongoing basis the impacts of climate change that WCS staff and friends are seeing on the ground. Our hope is to promote conversation and incite the actions needed to save Earth from this crisis.

See Photos

We need your help

Your tax-deductible gift supports cutting-edge exhibits, first-class animal care, and in-depth research to help threatened wildlife survive and thrive.

Sign Up for Email Updates

Get news from the field and learn about ways you can help Earth’s most threatened species.