Harrison Ford puts Spotlight on Protecting Species

7/14/2002

Ford Stars in Conservation International Public Service Announcement

Washington, DC - 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 today by Conservation International (CI).

"The human heart. Just over 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 PSA. "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."

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. 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 while I 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.

Harrison Ford has served on Conservation International's 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.

"Harrison Ford is a dedicated conservationist who understands the issues and has helped CI evolve into the strong organization we have today," said Peter Seligmann, CI's chairman and CEO. "Helping people understand the urgency and importance of biodiversity conservation is another tremendous contribution he is making for this cause."

New York based Green Team Advertising, led by President and Creative Director Hugh Hough, contributed its services to create the PSA. Companies that contributed production services included: video editing by Go Robot! and Rhinoceros Editorial; computer animation by Turbulence Effects; and camera equipment by Broadcast Video Rentals, LTC. The broadcast PSA was completely shot with HDTV technology and incorporates some of the latest advances in animation design.

Conservation International is a certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The PSA campaign is part of the organization's communications strategy to broaden the public's understanding of the importance of global biodiversity.

The print and broadcast PSAs can be viewed online at www.conservation.org. Media representatives who would like broadcast or print versions of the PSA to review should call Jason Anderson at (202) 912-1464.

The full PSA script is as follows:

"The human heart. Just over 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. 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.

Conservation International is a hands-on, get-it-done organization. We involve science, business, governments and local people to get results. Conservation International has helped save millions of acres and hundreds of species. It's working.

One percent may not seem like much, but sometimes it can make all the difference in the world. Literally. Find out more. Visit www.conservation.org."

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