Saturday, January 9, 2010

2010 Is the International Year of Biodiversity - What Are You Going to Do to Help?

By Anne Erasmus

2010 will be a year of celebration of the biological diversity of Earth, its value for our lives, and a chance to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity. From micronutrients in soil, to big predators like sharks and humans, each species on earth, and its habitat, affects the lives of other species, and of humans.

Biodiversity is the life support system of our planet, and change to the dynamics of that system affects more than just the participants in each system. Population decreases and species loss in animals threatens the existence of their ecosystems. The replacement of naturally diverse vegetation that supports a vast array of plants, insects, birds and animals by single crop farming has far-reaching consequences that threaten human existence too.

Protecting biodiversity includes:
- protecting wildlife, especially rare and endangered species
- preventing the extinction of individual species
- protecting the biodiversity of different regions
- protecting ecosystems

Climate change drives the loss of biodiversity, as is being seen in the polar regions where polar bears and penguins are threatened by the melting of their habitat and feeding grounds. At the same time, the deterioration of habitats and loss of biodiversity worsen the effects of climate change, and in some instances contribute to it. Fighting global warming and protecting biodiversity is a responsibility we all share, as it is human activity that has done more to damage our planet than any other factor.

What Can You Do?
  • reuse and recycle wherever possible
  • save water, energy and fuel
  • remove invasive species from your garden
  • plant a water-wise, indigenous garden
  • build a pond, bird boxes and plant wildflowers to attract wildlife, birds and insects into your garden
  • grow your own organic vegetables
  • use environmentally friendly pesticides and household cleaning products
  • buy products that support sustainable development projects
  • support local initiatives like river clean-ups and wetland restoration
  • use renewable energy sources
  • don't buy hardwood products from unsustainable sources
  • when on vacation, don't buy coral, shells and ivory or animal skins
  • visit nature reserves - your entrance fee helps sustain the reserve
  • support wildlife conservation organisations, with donations of time or money
  • petition against unfettered development and industrial creep
  • report pollution to the relevant authorities
Make 2010 the year you get actively involved in preserving our planet and teach your children about it too.
For more green tips, products, services and news, get to today. Make 2010 the year you get involved in saving our planet.

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