We are part of the solution #ForNature
As we encroach on nature and deplete vital habitats, increasing numbers of species are at risk. That includes humanity and the future we want.António Guterres
The world is reeling under the impact of a microorganism that is making humanity kneel. It is estimated that if all the COVID virus permeating the world is put together, it may not weigh more than a few grams. If the introduction of such a small quantity can create such havoc, how much destruction can it lead to removing large amounts of flora and fauna from mother earth?
A UN estimate puts that human actions have significantly altered three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66% of the marine environment. One million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction. If the current negative trends in Biodiversity and ecosystems continue, it is going to undermine realising the UN Sustainable Development Goals significantly.
Variety and variability are inherent in life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the genetic, species and ecosystem across the globe. Mother earth has shown its preferences in making the resources available. Neither the resources nor their use is equally distributed. The warm climate at the equator leads to more incredible terrestrial Biodiversity, also more affluent in the tropics. Less than 10% of the surface of the Earth contains about 90% of the species. Our understanding of the diversity is very meagre, and it is estimated that approximately 1.7 million species being identified account for only 20%.
Wikipedia traces back the use of the term “biological diversity” to J. Arthur Harris in 1916. The term Biodiversity was used by Walter G. Rosen in a presentation at a conference, “The National Forum on Biodiversity,” in 1986. Biological diversity represents the wealth of resources.
In 2000 UN General Assembly proclaimed May 22 to be the International Day for Biodiversity and aims to save living organisms and Biodiversity. Initially, from 1993 to 2000, it used to be observed on December 29. In 2000, the date was shifted to May 22, 1992, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the convention on biological diversity.
Mother earth possesses and encompasses microorganisms, plants, animals, and ecosystems such as coral reefs, forests, rain forests, deserts, etc. The challenge is all about ensuring the sustenance of the equilibrium. In Biodiversity, each species, no matter how big or small, plays a vital role in the ecosystem. Various plant and animal species depend on each other for what each offer and ensures natural sustainability. Grains, plants, and animals are in totality meeting the necessities of human beings. Fish provide 20% of animal protein to about 3 billion people. Plants offer over 80% of the human diet. As many as 80% of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant‐based medicines for primary healthcare. Loss of Biodiversity threatens all, including our health.
Biodiversity plays a significant role in reducing soil erosion, controlling the climate, and purifying the air we breathe and water. Many trees and plants can protect us from the deadliest diseases, “Rosy Periwinkle” from Madagascar cultivated for herbal medicine and used in Ayurveda for curing diabetes and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Cinchona tree which was used to make medicine for Malaria (almost disappeared from Kerala). The importance of Biodiversity in our life is conveyed very succulently “These little things that run the world” by E.O Wilson. The novel solutions researchers are coming out with to find a cure to COVID is another example of the resilience of nature to provide solutions to the problems created by the very human beings.
It is said that human beings are the most intelligent creature on this Earth and possess discerning power. Ironically, the reason for Earth’s Biodiversity being in grave danger are human beings. There is a glimmer of hope, and the forest cover has seen an increase in India. It is estimated that this has led to neutralising greenhouse gases to the extent of 11%.
“If we must sustain the path of development, we must learn to live in harmony with nature.
If not, do we have the right to call ourselves the most intelligent creature on Earth?
It should be an everyday effort if we must protect the Biodiversity as ..
Timing is ticking….
*This ToonLogs is being published with minor modification to the one posted for the first time last year.