Looking around the world at these wildlife, it's abundantly clear that humans have benefited from nature in so many ways but have also brought many species to the brink of extinction...The American people that I interact with through my IS Foundation work do not want to allow this to happen; they do not want to let these species go without a fight; and they see the way in which nature provides for people around the world.
So many people are working in industries that don't inspire them, to pay the bills and survive. In an ideal world, everyone would get paid to work within their passion and expand in their talents. If you have a skill, a passion, and a love for creating change, the best way to support us is to co-create with us.
Commitment is making a choice to follow through or to honor. Engagement and guarantee - we all love guarantees in life. Making a commitment, whether it's for something like climate change or to my family, or even to my fans - what that means to me is, whether on paper or verbally or spiritually, making a promise to guarantee that I will fulfill whatever agreement we have.
Whether that expansion is towards the beings around you or flora, fauna, and creatures. Love has so many unique yet consistent forms. People like Branson - he's an idea guru. Guys like Allan Savory - he's like Father Earth. Allan has literally discovered how to stop desertification and make Africa come alive with plant life. In each of its forms, love has an infinite scope of potential expansion, all of which I see leading to growth.
Very little makes me feel vulnerable these days. I hit my absolute apex of vulnerability when I returned to my home state of Louisiana, during the Gulf oil spill disaster, and witnessed mass devastation to every demonstration of life surrounding me - from grass, trees, bayous, insects, to animals and people - we all felt demolished.
I feel vulnerable when I have no choice. It segues into every facet of life, whether it's love, work, family, or conservation. Here it is: the whole reason that I started the Ian Somerhalder Foundation was the feeling of complete vulnerability during the BP oil spill.
There is no differentiation between all living things: trees, river, animals, and humans. We are all one interdependent organism, so our focus may seem broad but each element interacts with the other. We have so many phenomenal eyes, skills, and hands on deck. It's mind-blowingly exciting.
I was pretty shocked to learn that as many as 30,000 elephants are being killed every year to fuel the ivory trade, despite an international ban since 1989, and that 60% of forest elephants have already been wiped out. At this rate, experts say populations will become extinct in the next decade. No one needs ivory.
What I've started to realize is that social media is not just technology - it's become its own entity, full of energy waves. These energy waves could be a Tweet about something you are furious about, like the Keystone Pipeline, or a piece of legislation. Instantly, energy surrounds and adds traction, influence, making it come alive
Every life lesson that trickled its way into my being came from a mutually respectful relationship between the environment and my family. We were raised to appreciate the teachings of animals and the untouched magnificence of raw natural beauty. This understanding of our precious and complex ecosystem has carried me throughout every chapter of my life and is a significant column of my identity.
The sanctuary would be the epicenter for the foundation. We'll have think tanks there. It's going to be a really, really amazing place. As an educational home base, we will also focus on the development of sustainable agriculture initiative. It's a huge project but one I am exceptionally passionate about.
People have amazing ideas. The main problem - I won't call it a problem, let's call it a roadblock - is if you use the analogy of a convoy of vehicles going to help a distress situation: they have all the resources needed (food, medicine, everything they need), and as the convoy is traveling, there's a rockslide. You can't get through the road. What good does any of that stuff do when you can't get it to where it needs to go?