Since its inaugural event on 22 April 1970, Earth Day has grown to an international annual celebration of the Earth and a movement to raise awareness about and support for environmental protection. This year’s theme, Restore Our Earth, emphasizes that, “As the world returns to normal, we can’t go back to business-as-usual.” As we face widespread climate change and unprecedented biodiversity declines—with more than a million species threatened with extinction—immediate, online access to essential literature is ever-more important, allowing scientists to conduct research more quickly and efficiently and improving our ability to respond to these crises. For fifteen years, the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) has worked as a global consortium to provide this vital access, empower research, and make a real difference in our ability to improve the health of our planet for every species that calls it home.
This year, several of our global partners have selected a few titles and authors from the BHL collection to commemorate Earth Day. From exploring Asia’s vast and unique biodiversity to inspiring conservation through a popular publication on birds, providing practical methods for conducting surveys and using the data to support conservation practices, and marveling at the extraordinary biodiversity of past ages, these titles highlight the richness of our planet’s biodiversity and remind us of the importance of protecting the wonderful, wild, and beautiful life on Earth.