Healthy Planet is the brainchild of Dr. Mark Mulligan a Geography professor at Kings College in London.  The site was announced in April, with the goal of allowing individuals and businesses to become “guardians” of the planet using a Google Maps or Earth interface.  The maps display a layer of national parks and conservation areas all around the world, including a selection of parks which are designated “priority parks” (mainly in Africa) identified as globally important and in need of urgent funding.  A potential guardian can zoom into an area, select a 1 sq km section, make a donation and then create a pop-up plaque with a dedication.  There are other ways that people are encouraged to participate “from their armchairs”, including mapping (coming soon, they say).

In its FAQs, Healthyplanet states that 90% of a donation goes to a fund set up for each park, and whenever that park has an “approved project”, the funds are transferred to the park.  If, after time, there are no approved projects in the park, Healthyplanet will donate the funds to a priority park.  This seems like a very nice concept and innovative use of maps.

Update 27/6/2018: All links above no longer valid.  Mark Mulligan is still active in this field.