PROTECTING THE NATURAL WORLD
Biodiversity is the variety and differences of living organisms in an area including marine, terrestrial and other aquatic ecosystems, according to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
It provides the world with a wealth of knowledge and food, whilst also helping to eradicate poverty.
The richer the biodiversity the quicker the earth can recover from disasters and feed a growing population.
Although the world’s biodiversity is under threat, we can do something about it. By more care and attention being taken in every day practices and more regulations and monitoring used to control actions such as, deforestation, logging, farming and hunting, biodiversity can be protected.
Many governments around the world have passed laws (e.g., the Endangered Species Act and CITES) designed to protect endangered species from going extinct. However, more than 300 critically endangered, 237 endangered and 267 vulnerable animal species have no legal protection in any part of their habitats
Protecting biodiversity is not however an easy task. Making a difference will require governments, organisations and the general public to work together, each doing their bit.
One of the biggest barriers to protecting biodiversity is the world’s growing need for items sourced from the environment. In simple terms, this has created the Biodiversity vs Economics problem, with many debating which is more valuable. However, the answer is both. Food production must be aligned with biodiversity and the two must not compete. Biodiversity is vital for productive agriculture.
Protecting biodiversity will require long term changes to the way we live and the views of societies, so that future generations can continue. As a complex problem that has no simple solution, this page aims to give a few examples of various schemes that are currently being implemented and gives simple pointers to ways which make a positive difference in the protection of the world’s biodiversity.
- Breeding endangered or indigenous species.
- Hedgerows/grassy strips – leaving or creating these provides safe ‘corridors’ and provides food and shelter. - http://www.hedgelink.org.uk/hedgerow-biodiversity-action-plan.htm
- Leaving natural river/stream ecosystems
- Owl and bat boxes – provides a safe habitat - http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/bat_boxes.html
- Growing a variety of crop species and crop rotation
- Limit chemical/pesticide use – organic production
- Environmental protection and conservation through biomes, protected areas and ocean management.
- Education – working with people around the world to help them live in harmony with nature.
- Helping relieve poverty – this may help decrease the amount of illegal or destructive activity.
- Provide incentives and training for farmers – economic help whilst maintain agricultural productivity.
- Implement policies that protect the environment and move towards renewable energy sources.
- Stricter biosecurity measures
- Take care what you eat – pay attention to sustainable and environment friendly labels showing products which have been produced with minimal environmental damage and were farmed/fished legally and sustainably.
- Buy seasonal fruit and vegetables
- Get involved – sign petitions, join groups, sponsor animals.
- Cut down pollution and waste by recycling
- Grow your own vegetables
- Pick your wood carefully – Only buy wood from sustainable suppliers where forests have been logged sustainably.