As the world faces the fastest rate of extinction since the disappearance of the dinosaurs, the Earth Day Network is asking local leaders to engage with the public and take action to support biodiversity as part of the 49th annual Earth Day, to be held on April 22.

Local governments have always been at the center of Earth Day activities, and they play an essential role in engaging and educating the public. The Earth Day Network has designed materials especially for local officials (at www.earthday.org/campaigns/green-cities/protectourspeciescities). Its Toolkit for Cities and Local Leaders contains ideas for actions and resources to help municipalities participate in Earth Day 2019’s Protect Our Species campaign.

To maximize the impact of Earth Day 2019, the Earth Day Network is asking local officials to consider taking the following actions to inspire change in their communities:

• Promote and adopt biodiversity policies and initiatives.
• Organize a Global Day of Conversation to present relevant constituencies and the media with current initiatives and announce new plans to protect species and biodiversity.
• Issue a proclamation recognizing the vital importance of protecting our species and declaring April 22, 2019, as Earth Day.
• Conduct a “Protect Our Species” communications campaign using #EarthDay2019 and #ProtectOurSpecies and tagging @EarthDayNetwork to connect with other Earth Day events around the world.
• Become an Earth Day 2019 Partner City by sharing the municipality’s plans to take action on Earth Day and registering at www.earthday.org/registeryourcity.

The rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations is directly linked to causes driven by human activity, including climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, unsustainable agriculture, trafficking and poaching, pollution and pesticides. Extinction can be slowed, however, and municipal leaders can help by educating and inspiring action from the community.

For more information, visit www.earthday.org/campaigns/green-cities/earth-day-2019-for-cities-and-local-leaders or call 202-518-0044 or email rosemont@earthday.org.