Happy Saturday with Shavara Green Folks! Since this is the last Saturday in the month of May I didn’t want the month to end without touching on a day of observation that occurred earlier this week. I recently learned that May 22nd is the International Day for Biological Diversity or World Biodiversity Day. It is actually a United Nations sanctioned international day for the promotion of biodiversity issues.
Biodiversity as defined by scientist is the amount of variety of life on Earth, the number of different species of plants, animals, and microorganisms including organisms from Earth’s various ecosystems; deserts, rainforests, coral reefs, grasslands, tundra and polar ice caps. We depend on biodiversity in our daily lives and for our health and survival. Examples of biodiversity would be the availability of fresh water, food and fuel sources. I don’t know about you, but biodiversity sounds pretty darn important to me.
Unfortunately, until this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity I had never heard of this day, and to my embarrassment I had no real understanding of the importance of protecting biodiversity on Earth. This prompted me to dive deeper into learning more about biodiversity and why a day dedicated to acknowledging its importance existed. I uncovered some pretty interesting facts that I was eager to jot down. The first thing that popped up in my search gave me pause for concern, which is the fact that we are currently using 25% more natural resources than the planet can sustain and as a result species, habitats and local communities are under pressure or direct threat of irreversible damage. Overuse of our natural resources without consideration of how to sustain what we do have can lead to the loss of biodiversity. This natural resource overuse can also limit the discovery of potential treatments for many diseases, infact biodiversity plays a key role in our nutrition because of its influence over our world food production.
The ideal ecosystem is one that has rich biodiversity, which leads to the support of a larger number of plant species leading to a growing number of crops, healthy bodies of water are protected, and soil formations are able to remain protected and thriving. If your adding up all those amazing factors you’ve probably gathered that it leads to a direct positive impact to both animals and people. When our ecosystem is healthy and functioning without any negative environmental impacts it is able to break down pollutants, and crazy enough is able to recover from natural disasters at a faster rate with minimal human involvement. As much as we can negatively impact our diversity we can just as easily positively impact it.
There are some easy ways for us to incorporate better biodiversity friendly practices into our daily lives. One way would be protecting our natural pollinators, which I discussed in an earlier post. My newfound awe of one of our most important natural pollinators a.k.a; the lovely Bumble Bee can be helped by eliminating our use of pesticides, planting a variety of plants and wildflowers that provide nectar sources, and leaving native plants undisturbed. We can also reduce our consumption by shopping second hand, repairing items rather than throwing them away and reusing items. One factor that I found surprising was the impact that domesticated pets can have on our biodiversity, both cats and dogs can be predators of wild animals in the area and can devastate local populations. We can minimize the impact that our pets have by monitoring and managing their outdoor activity.
I’m winding down I promise…
By now you all know how much I love plugging the mantra “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” which also applies to assisting in the continued thriving of our ecosystem, which needs strong biodiversity. Reduce your consumption of items that cannot be reused or recycled. Do reuse items to eliminate unnecessary waste, which helps and lower the need for manufacturers to extract new materials. Recycle because it decreases pollution when materials do not have to be completely remade causing less water consumption, less electricity and energy use. I urge you to do your part as always, because quite frankly we are all in this together and Earth depends on it. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
KOB’s very own Blog Contributor