Biodiversity: we must take action now

International Biodiversity Day is celebrated on May 22 each year to raise awareness and understanding of biodiversity issues. Biodiversity is the term used to describe the variety of life found on Earth and all the natural processes.

Life, land, air and water are the basic requirements for survival. All species – humans, animals, plants and micro-organisms – are part of the intricate web of life and are all inter-dependent.

When biodiversity is damaged, destroyed or negatively affected through our own negligent actions or even through natural disasters – the results include a decline in food supplies, shortage of fresh water and an increase in diseases.

The 2012 Living Planet Report produced by the conservation agency World Wildlife Fund showed that humanity is outstripping the Earth’s resources by 50 percent — essentially using the resources of one and a half Earths every year.

Colby Loucks, the director of conservation sciences at WWF, compared humanity to bad houseguests, “We’re emptying the fridge, we’re not really taking care of the lawn, we’re not weeding the flower beds and we’re certainly not taking out the garbage,” he said.

The report details a staggering loss of 30 percent of biodiversity on average around the globe, meaning a major decline in the number of different species of plants, animals and other organisms.

According to the report’s footprint index, which evaluates resource consumption in relation to biocapacity, or the ability to renew resources and absorb CO2 emissions, the disparity between rich and poor nations, or developed and developing countries is increasing. The consumption demands of rich nations encourage poor countries to plunder their natural resources for export.

Zimbabwe has a unique range of biodiversity throughout the different regions. It is blessed with amazing wildlife, magnificent landscapes, vast ranges of vegetation, mountains, lakes, rivers and of course, the mighty Victoria Falls. It is the responsibility of every citizen to not only be concerned about conserving and protecting these national assets but to take action.

Urbanisation, economic development, water pollution, poor waste management, uncontrolled fires, invasive alien species such as lantarna all place a burden on our natural biodiversity.

What can you do?

Place less pressure on the environment by using less e.g. buy local, be aware of the amount of packaging your product uses, only consume what is necessary.

Support a conservation association or organization that promotes conservation of biodiversity.

Support programmes that aim to conserve threatened species such as the vultures, wild dog, cheetah, roan antelope and rhino.

Plant indigenous trees.

Practice the three R’s so that they become part of daily living – reduce, reuse and recycle.

Become a member of the Recycing Assocation of Zimbabwe. Be a Zimbabwean who cares for our planet and the our children’s future. Help Save Our Planet. –

Post published in: Environment
  1. juchure nelson
  2. Andy Kadir-Buxton

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