World Environment Day 2020

World Environment Day, celebrated each year on June 5th, is a day set aside by the United Nations to bring attention to a pressing environmental issue. This year, the spotlight is on biodiversity!

The variety of animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms that make up our natural world work together to provide everything we need to survive: food, clean water, medicine, and shelter. Some people are not aware that a loss of biodiversity is just as great a threat as climate change to our world today. The loss of biodiversity can lead to a loss of services that nature provides that are essential to the functioning of our society and economy. As an example, most people are familiar with the loss of bees and pollinators and its potential negative effects on our food supply.

As natural historian, Sir David Attenborough, said at the start of Our Planet documentary, “Never has it been more important to understand how the natural world works and how to help it.”

Fundamentally, biodiversity is the key to the future of humanity.

We are lucky to have a walking trail that goes through the woods with a wetland ecosystem close to our house. Unfortunately, that means an abundance of mosquitoes. On our walks, we have seen beavers, deer, and ducks. The kids love seeing the wildlife and the changing water levels with the seasons. They don’t seem that keen on my mini lectures on ecosystem management. I like to hope that some of that knowledge is sticking.

Wetlands are important ecosystems! Wetlands help to sequester carbon, improve water quality, control erosion, helps to maintain stream flow and catches overflow, and provides a habit for many types of endangered and threatened flora and fauna.

On social media, you can join in on World Environment Day by using the hastags, #WorldEnvironmentDay and #ForNature

Biodiversity World Environment Day

Why Should We Protect the Environment

At a time when one of the most influential countries on the planet is busy dismantling important environmental agencies and overturning environmental saving policies, it is now more important than ever to protect and conserve the environment.
Earth existed long before the evolution of modern humans and will continue to exist until our Sun becomes a Red Giant and expands towards Mars’s orbit and engulfs and decimates the Earth.
We as humans may not last that long, unless there is a change in people’s consumption and habits, are actually the people of Earth. 

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

Other than the solar radiation that we receive from the sun, Earth is a closed system. Most of our natural resources are finite. Those that are technically renewable, such as fossil fuels, are being used at such an alarming rate that they can be considered finite.
Why does this matter?
Unless technology to spontaneously make objects is developed, such as the replicator that exists in Star Trek, we will need raw material. If we continue at our current rate of over-consumption, it has been suggested that we run the risk of running out of the resources needed to sustain the human population.

 As humans, we are dependent on nature. It provides us with our basic needs: food, water, warmth, and shelter. The environment is also a source of recreation and regeneration for many people. The population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by the year 2050. It has also been predicted that there will not be enough food available to feed the world’s population. The majority of the population consume animal products. It takes more land to produce animal products as you need the room for the livestock and their feed. An increase in population would require more food, which would require more land to raise and feed the animals. Over time, this would lead to further soil degradation. There is also the issue of where the people would live. Ice caps are melting, the sea levels are rising, reducing the amount of available land. 

It all comes down to the fact that we have to conserve and protect the environment for our future generations. The planet will continue to survive, with or without us. It is up to us to decide if we want to be self-centred and over consume today or live within our means, change our eating habits and conserve what we have been able to enjoy, and continue to make the world a better place for generations to come.