We are constantly berated with alarming reports that forecast a gloomy future for our planet, giving us two options for how we can react. Either we become paralyzed and give up, or we unite together in the face of adversity to enact change. The Bavarians of southern Germany chose the second option following a massive report highlighting the drastic decline of insect and bird populations, which could cause an ecological collapse.

For weeks, Bavarians have been standing in lines, sometimes quite long ones, to sign a petition designed to save bees, other bugs, and the birds that eat them. The petition consists of four pages of detailed amendments to Bavaria’s nature protection law which, taken altogether, would fundamentally change how farming is done in the state, with the overall goal of creating a connected web of wildlife-friendly habitat.

Now with over 10 percent of Bavarian voters having signed the petition, it will now be sent to Bavarian legislature for approval. For the many environmental groups trying to enact similar laws that protect wildlife habitat around the world, the people of Bavaria provide a textbook example for how to get this done.