By Isiah REYES
The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization relocated its headquarters offices to Montrose and held an open house last week with live music, refreshments, wine and exhibits to introduce itself to the community.
The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization is an international conservation non-profit organization whose mission is protecting and preserving Earth’s waters and animals. The organization helps individuals, companies and governments take action for the survival of the natural world through education and hands-on projects. The work is done through many partnerships, including those with industry, government agencies, environmental scientists and engineers, community stakeholders and local volunteers.
“We have a very large scientific advisory board which is very prestigious with the top scientists in the world in the fields of microbiology and marina biology,” said International President Barbara Wiseman.
Wiseman said a major goal for the organization this year is to deal with the preservation of Earth’s oceans and waters, particularly associated with chemical and oil industry pollutants. The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization trains people on how to clean up polluted sites on both land and water.
“We are very, very focused on getting sane technologies used on oil spill cleanups on U.S. waters because what are currently being used is insane, totally destructive, very toxic chemicals,” said Wiseman. “What’s being used now does not clean the oil at all and they cause mutations and birth defects and the carcinogenic can cause cancer. We did a lot of research on this and we found there are existing technologies that are safe; you can literally drink them, and they actually clean the oil in a very short period of time.”
Using cleaner technologies is a major focus of the United States headquarters. There are other chapters around the world that focus on projects such as reforestation, resolving environmental situations and protecting endangered animals. Currently, there are 19 chapters in 16 countries around the globe.
The organization has also conducted campaigns that have focused on protecting wildlife in war zones, promoting environmental education to improve the relationship between human beings and nature, and providing eco safaris to South Africa where attendees have the opportunity to learn about wildlife and the local Zulu culture.
This organization’s approach and values come from its founder, Dr. Lawrence Anthony, who started the organization in 2003. Anthony was a South African conservationist, a humanitarian and a bestselling author who was awarded the UN Earth Day Medal for his five-and-a-half month rescue initiative of the animals and staff in the Baghdad Zoo early in the Iraqi War. He passed away in March 2013.
Lawrence is perhaps most famously known for creating the Thula Thula Private Game Reserve, a private game reserve situated in Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa. Thula Thula means peace and tranquility in Zulu. The animal preserve is to protect animals from being shot and killed into extinction.
“You can bring a species back, but if you don’t educate the world and what the world’s doing to destroy it, it’s just going to continue to be the same cycle,” said Marla Martinez, board member of the Earth Organization. “So part of Thula Thula is to do education. The locals know that this is part of their history and their legacy and if they kill the animals and don’t protect them, then that’s going to go away.”
For more information on the organization, visit www.TheEarthOrganization.org.