When the Notre Dame went up in flames, the world stopped to look in dismay as centuries of history were fiercely being consumed in fire. What made news in the days following the incident was the amount of money the well-off put towards the cathedral's restoration.
In fact, protesters took to the streets to voice their concerns that so much money would be put towards the activity while the country had many dire financial issues that lacked adequate funding.
A message was even sent to the billionaires making the massive donations asking them to show a bit of humanity.
The targeted individuals might not have responded as expected as of yet, but another billionaire has entered the limelight by choosing to use his immense wealth for good.
This Swiss billionaire, Hansjorg Wyss, has sworn to donate $1 billion over the next decade. The money will go towards environmental conservation.
Sure, his donation was made before the Notre Dame fire in Paris, France, but it should help quell the ire some activists are showing while arguing that the wealthy are not using their vast resources for the good of humanity.
Hopefully, what this wealthy individual has done should become a great example to others like him.
Now that people are protesting the Notre Dame fire's donations, it is worth highlighting stories such as this.
Wyss's vision and sacrifice are as noble as can be. He plans to ensure that 30% of the planet is safe by the year 2030.
This billionaire does not like the idea of wildlands and waters staying in private hands behind locked gates. Rather, he would like such resources to be accessible to the public.
If his vision comes true, these resources will be just like public national parks, marine reserves, and wild refuges in that they will be protected open for the people to explore.
His inspiration for this vision comes from when he was a young man after he climbed and hiked on public lands in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
He thinks it should be an urgent concern that very little of the world is protected compared to how much should be protected.
For Wyss, these are not just words. By the end of 2018, he had donated over $66 million to nine organizations.
His foundation is also putting up $750,000 in donations towards managing a 3.5 million-acre wetlands ecosystem and home to many animals in Canada's Edehzhie National Wildlife Area located in the Northwest Territories.
The billionaire has also donated $5.8 million in Aves Argentina to help create a 1.5 million-acre national park. Another $22 million will go towards creating a 178,000 national park in Argentina as well.
The billionaire's foundation has been in the environment conservation business for many years, and he has already donated more than $450 million in the last two decades.
His efforts have helped to save about 40 million acres of land and water, and this remains the boldest act of charity at the moment.
His plans for the future are even bolder, and to those who think that they might be too ambitious, the billionaire claims that they are possible.
His money will protect the environment, raise awareness on environmental conservation, and financing research into the best environmental conservation strategies.
His efforts have borne fruit in Africa, Europe, South America, Mexico, and the United States.
It is quite reassuring that some wealthy people are using their money for the good of humanity. This is truly commendable.