The 22nd May 2020 is International Day for Biological Diversity and this year, the theme is “our solutions are in nature”.
The UN proclaimed such a day to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.
Here’s the incredible Sir David Attenborough explaining what biodiversity is:
The Council of the EU has produced a good video, too, called Help Protect Biodiversity and it will protect us
The theme “Our solutions are in nature” emphasises the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature.
2020 is a year to reflect, grab the moment and come up with creative and innovative solutions. We all need to work to stop biodiversity loss, for all people and all life on Earth.
Actions for Animals
Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa
Category: Lifestyle changes can make a difference
Sometimes you see something on the internet or on television that really hits you hard and makes a point extremely well.
I saw this video, this afternoon, and I wanted to share it with you. Please share it with everyone you can.
The ultimate message is that we SHARE this planet. It demonstrates how dominant the human race has become - and how selfish. I am not going to tell you anymore about it - please just watch it for yourself. Here it is:
Thank you, Gravitas.
Please vow to make a difference today.
Find out how to reduce your impact on the earth's resources here.
How did the coronavirus start?
Its outbreak in Wuhan, China, was suspected to be the starting point for the coronavirus. And a harsh light was cast on wildlife markets.
Huanan Seafood Market has a terrible range of live and freshly killed animals is thought to be the starting point.
The meat of 30 terrestrial animal species is at the market, as well as seafood. Pangolins, civets, squirrels, pheasants, scorpions, snakes and various rates are available there.
Wildlife markets do 2 things:
- They spread disease – it’s easy to see why when you just have to look at the terrible conditions in which these animals are kept
- These markets are driving species towards extinction.
We are heading towards a massive extinction – the 2019 UN report warned that up to one million animal and plant species could vanish forever.
In October 2020, China is due to host a UN conference on the Convention of Biological Diversity. Representatives from nearly 200 countries will look to find ways to stop the mass extinction.
Let's put pressure on China...
Now is a good time to put pressure on China and push for a worldwide ban on the wildlife trade.
Rainforest Rescue has a petition to shut down these markets once and for all. They are utterly barbaric and it’s high time they were stopped.
Bristol has become the first major city to declare an ecological emergency.
They’ve done this in response to escalating threats to ecosystems and wildlife, as there’s been a worrying decline in numbers and the diveristy of wildlife in the city.
41% of UK wildlife species are in decline and 15% are at risk of extinction
In Bristol the city’s swifts and starling populations are virtually wiped out – with a 96% decline in numbers of these birds between 1994 and 2014
Marvin Rees, Major of Bristol, and the CEO of the Avon Wildlife Trust Ian Barrett, are building on the 2018 declaration of a climate emergency.
Plans to Tackle this Ecological Emergency
Marvin Rees has asked the One City Envrionment and Sustainability Board work with the council and other city partners to look at ways in which the destruction of wildife habitats can be stopped.
He wants them to look at ways to mange land sustainably, which will create wildlife-rich spaces, not just right across Bristol but across the region as well.
Everywhere and everyone needs to support wildlife, including new developments, so that species can grow alongside people.
It’s recognised that is not a quick thing to achieve. Nature takes her time, but she needs a considerable amount of help now.
She needs restoring. Climate breakdown and ecological emergency are everywhere as wild spaces are lost and wildlife with it.
As Ian Barrett says, we can’t wait for national governments or international bodies to lead the way. Collective action is needed so that wildlife can thrive and the natural world can flourish.
This includes of course people like you and me. We can all take action to do things such as planting a single window box for pollinators, walking where possible - and doing beach clean ups on team building days or helping a local wildlife charity.
At the moment, the Avon Wildlife Trust is working with local communities through a project called My Wild City. It’s transforming 8 local wildlife sites across the city, so enhancing important wildlife habitats and providing opportunities for people to visit and enjoy them.
Its urban wildlife site in Stapleton has restored wildlife in the heart of the city; people can learn practical skills in wildlife friendly planting and help fight for nature’s recovery.
Actions you can take:
Volunteer – give your time and energy! It’s a great way to meet like-minded people and make new friends and do something really worthwhile with your time that can make a difference.
Take action to help wildlife – there are a number of things you can do, including
- Build a hedgehog home
- Create a hole for hedghogs
- Grow a wild patch
- Attract butterflies to your garden
- Grow a vertical garden
- Provide water for wildlife
- Provide bushes for nesting birds
- Build a bug mansion
- Pick up litter (so wildlife don’t eat it or get harmed on it)
- Take part in a citizen survey
- Buy local produce
- And there are LOTS MORE!
As a member of the National Trust, I receive its magazine.
One of the things the Spring 2020 magazine covers was climate change and what the Trust is doing to care for the places in its care as they are affected by it.
Things like daffodils appearing earlier; rope bridges being closed to visitors more frequently because of high winds; paintings being affected by the temperatures in the summer all point to a changing climate. Houses close because of the heat, since it affects collections and the fabric of the building. More pests and diseases are having an impact on the plants in the garden.
Together they make a picture that’s uneasy and that the Trust is trying to deal with.
The National Trust itself is taking measures to tackle climate change, such as a renewable energy investment programme. It’s pledged to reduce its use of fossil fuels by 50% by 2021. It’s creating or restoring 25,000 hectares of natural habitats because areas such as wetland and woodland can capture and store thousands of tonnes of carbon.
And the Trust has created Fit for the Future, which brings together some of the UK’s largest charities and landowners to fight the impact of climate change and rising energy costs.
So there’s lots the National Trust is doing, but as it points out, we all need to start lowering our impact on the world and start making changes.
The National Trust says there are five easy ways to make a difference are:
- Waste less – less food, less energy and less water
- Turn heating down and layer up (this is something Polar Bears International ask us all to do – they even have a Thermostat Challenge)
- Use an online carbon calculator to find out your carbon footprint and to work out how you can reduce it.
- Can you walk, bike, car share or use public transport?
- Get involved in Leap for Nature on 29 February and make a promise for nature this year.
A great and truly giving way to help them is to dig deep and be willing to make changes ourselves to help wildlife. Do it for the koalas, the polar bears, the penguins, the puffins…. your favourite wildlife...