We are celebrating “Environment Day” amidst global pandemic. Scientists predict that if we do not change our behaviour towards wild habitats, we are in danger of more virus outbreaks. To prevent future zoonoses, we must address the multiple threats to ecosystems and wildlife, including habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal trade, pollution, invasive species and, increasingly, climate change. Species life is precious. Humans share the planet with as many as 8.7 million (give or take 1.3 million) different forms of life. Census of Marine Life scientists. Till 2011 humans did not have a clear approximate of number of species that we share earth with. If we see in terms of biomass & biodiversity we have these details to ponder.
Plants – mainly trees – dominate life on Earth: they account for more than 82% of biomass;
Surprisingly in second place is the life we cannot see: tiny bacteria sum up to 13%;
Whilst our perceptions are often focused on the animal kingdom, it accounts for only 0.4%;
Humans account for just 0.01% of biomass, so we’d need about 70 trillion of us to match Earth’s collective biomass. Research article ref : https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1711842115
So after knowing few facts let’s look at ways that individuals , organizations and institutions can help spread an awareness and conserve biodiversity.
Learn More about Nature
Knowledge first. Learn as much as you can about nature and share your knowledge with others. Visit places which teaches or connects you with nature. Spare time for nature walks, visit zoos, sanctuaries, bird parks, museum, hatcheries or natural surroundings etc. Bond with nature, admire its beauty and create memories. Create a curiosity factor in kids about nature and raise them with love and respect for Earth. Cite them the examples of your childhood days when there was no virtual world and everything happened in real. And it was so fun! Tell them how your favorite time pass was gardening, playing with sand, collecting different leaves, bird feathers or stones etc. We at present will play a very important role in empowering our kids with #LoveNature trait. Did you know India is one of the 12 nations with Mega-Biodiversity, having around 8-10% species in just 2.4 percent of the land it holds? Beauty of this planet will remain with its biodiversity.
Create Love for Nature in Children
It’s important that the parents play a role in inculcating love towards nature in children. The urban & modern world is constantly losing its connection to the old roots where we learned that “Nature is our best friend and we should protect it”. The generations which will inhabit the earth in coming decades will have a greater responsibility to coexist with nature. Striking a right balance with nature will ensure the future of mankind is safe and also that of Earth.
Create empathy and compassion in your children towards all living beings. Take time to do activities with children which connect them to natural world. Always try to take them out and enjoy the little wonders of nature. Choose a school for your children that keeps “Earth Nature & Environment” as a priority in the curriculum for real time. Schools and teachers have a critical role to play in nurturing young people’s affinity for nature and building curriculum that underscore the value of biodiversity and interest in future green job opportunities. Telling youth and children about ancient or rural or aborigine methods and showing them the same will make them good individuals who will value and respect earths offerings. Inculcate environment friendly habits right from the start in children so that they make good citizens of Earth.
Links to Explore:
IUCN’s #NatureforAll Discovery Zone: http://natureforall.global/discovery-zone offers a range of creative tools – from videos to lesson plans, to comic books to help you learn about nature.
TED-Ed Earth school: https://ed.ted.com/earth-school helps children & youth understand and celebrate our natural world, while learning about how dependent we are on our planet.
UNEP Major Group for Children and Youth is a group of individuals and youth organizations that work towards environmental conservation and the representation of young people’s voices in governance and conservation processes https://www.youthenvironment.org/
The Convention for Biological Diversity has created a lesson plan for teachers cbd.int/doc/bioday/2008/ibd-2008-framing-booklet-en.pdf
The World Wildlife Fund offers primary, secondary and university level educational resources on biodiversity campus.wwf.ca/
Be Aware of Environmental Issues
Have some interest in environment news. The world is continuously brimming with serious environmental issues. Increasing our awareness about degrading environment and impacts of biodiversity loss can help us to get involved & act for right decisions by the policy & law makers. Find out what your city and national government is doing to protect the environment. Increasing support for government policies and actions that conserve our valuable ecosystems will pave way towards a greener future. Also there is a need to raise voice against matters which are unheard or are causing damage to the ecosystems. Learn about wildlife trade and flora & fauna which are near to be extinct, vulnerable or in threatened category. Remember animals & plants can’t convey their plights but we humans should not turn blind to their plights. They share the earth in the same way we do. It’s everybody’s home. If you have time, join or volunteer with some Environmental Conservation Non-Profit or Community or organization.
Links to explore:
Learn about United Nations’ Act Now campaign: https://un.org/en/actnow/
Learn about IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature): https://www.iucn.org/
India Biodiversity Portal: https://indiabiodiversity.org/
Learn about Wildlife Trade: https://wildfor.life/learn/
Join Initiative Earth Page at FB for all latest action, news, updates, contests, information on Environment: https://www.facebook.com/InitiativeEarth/ or visit www.rollingnature for all the details on Initiative Earth. Also take part in #LoveNature WED Campaign 2020.
Purchase Eco-Friendly, Organic, Natural or Herbal Products
Go green! It matters. Buying all the chemicals and pushing back those chemicals down the drain overburdens the Earth. Be wise, pick earthly things which are easy on earth and doesn’t harm the environment in production and consumption process both. For instance eating organic food relatively helps in less pesticide contribution to earth’s soil. Or using an herbal shampoo will definitely help, as it is not harsh on you or the environment. Do not encourage food waste as it burdens biodiversity. Gift eco-friendly products, or switch to live plants green gifting that adds more green to earth.
Quit One Time Plastic Use: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
Plastic is one such material that has choked up earth. The use of disposable plastic dishes, cups, straws, bags, water bottles recklessly by us have caused this piling and dumping of plastic everywhere. Shockingly plastics can take almost 1000 years to degrade in landfills. Out of all the used water bottles 25% bottles are only recycled. Cigarette butts or corners of that milk packet we cut to pour all add to the plastic pollution. This plastic menace, polybags added with aluminum cans have polluted even remotest places on earth. Animals & plants badly suffer due to these on land and in ocean. When it comes to paper, always use judiciously and recycle paper and cardboard as a rule.
Pick Up Your Litter
This one is easy, it needs bit of social sense and responsibility. Still we see people not even using bins just around the corner. If you can pick and carry your waste you are letting the nature stay as it is. Paying taxes do not give us right to litter wherever we feel like. An environmental responsibility starts at home itself, where you dispose the dry and wet trash out of your house every day. This should be same when outside, trash should find place in the bins only in public places. If you are travelling to some far flung destination, carry garbage bags to bring back the litter and dispose in your place of stay. Group picnics or travel should also aim at “Bring you litter back” concept as a [art of environmental responsibility. Industries too should behave responsibly and adhere to environmental guidelines to clean and treat their garbage and sewage. Plastic pollution has caused much degradation in the soil & ocean wildlife. Cleanliness drives can also be arranged by individuals, communities or organizations independently or along with Municipal Corporations.
Plant Trees, Have a Garden or Plants Corner
Nature can be a bounty of happiness. Planting trees near your home will help to upsize the greenery along with oxygen content. The birds will say thank you to you as these trees will provide them food & shelter too. Yes it has been proved that staying close to nature or plants makes you healthy and happy. A little step to help boost little local biodiversity here. Once you have established your little garden you will come across plenty of guests. In case you lack space, go for indoor plants in closed spaces. They reduce indoor air pollution & also have myriad of benefits. A little bit of green décor at home and office has beneficial effects on health & well-being of occupants. Institutions & organizations should demarcate a green area in their campuses and engage employees in green activities. Encourage tree plantings at gatherings or events or choose alternate gifting “Eco-Friendly” or “Plant Gifts”.
Switch or Transform to Green Living Homes
In case you are building workspaces or homes or renewing one, always look for sustainable or eco-friendly choices of living to reduce the burden of climate change on the planet. Choose to live in a completely affordable sustainable or partially sustainable homes. There are many services available in India which you would like to rope in your home. Increasing numbers of people are outfitting their homes with sustainable technology, and the resulting boom in sustainable building is a trend that is catching lot of attention. Sustainable architecture seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space. Environmental sustainability helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save water and energy and reduce waste during construction and the house’s lifetime. The house is designed to prevent injuries through built-in safety features. The house is designed to save money during construction and over the lifetime of the house. A green home or workspace with renewable energy solutions like solar power, rain water harvesting, biogas etc. surely will help the environment & save lot of natural resources. Urbanization adversely affects biodiversity, keep always that in mind.
We all can protect the biodiversity directly or indirectly. It’s up to us how much we want to contribute with our actions for the well-being of Earth. Individuals, communities, and governments they all have to be in this together for maximum efforts. For a relatively small investment, high-biodiversity forests and other ecosystems can be conserved and restored as a powerful means to rein in climate change while also helping communities cope with associated storms, flooding and other impacts. There is a ray of hope.
Amazon rain forests were not so pristine by all itself. It was in fact modified, cultivated by humans for 11k years. But still they have kept the dense cover unlike modern humans who just cut it. So there is hope that we can preserve forests and still benefit economically too from it. We just need to coexist with nature, and do not take away its delicate ecosystems due to our actions. Instead, we should work towards greener earth, by not taking away its forests & green cover and planting more. Year 2020, nature is sending us message, heed its call. Be a human! Don’t lose humanity in name of development.
Love, Protect & Nurture Mother Earth!
This article is by Vandana Chaudhary, Co-Founder of Rolling Nature & Initiative Earth.
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About Initiative Earth: Initiative Earth came into being after 7 yrs of contribution & campaigns of Rolling Nature for the welfare of environment & Earth & through this initiative we will proactively work with individuals, organizations, policymakers for crucial actions for mother earth. We also aim to spread awareness to all masses and make this a revolution. Your support now, will pave way for better future for coming generations.
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