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Why is biodiversity, the theme of World Environment day 2020?

Do you think biodiversity is important enough, to be the theme of world environment day 2020?

This year world environment day was hosted by Colombia. Every year on the 5th of June a day dedicated to the environment is celebrated worldwide. With different themes every year but always with just one jest, protection of the environment. What an irony, the environment that gave us everything; the environment that makes the earth a habitable planet amongst millions of deserted ones in the never-ending universe; needs protection from us.

Why is biodiversity such a big concern? What is the motive behind celebrating ‘world environment day? and above all, How did we come to this juncture, where we need to protect the environment?

World Environment Day

Ever since 1947 environment day is celebrated. This day calls government and citizens from all around the world; to come and take action on the urgent issues related to the environment.

The sole reason behind the celebration of a day for the environment is to let the world know; about the damages, we have done to our own environment. Around the world, about 100 countries participate in the conferences. The host country highlights the world its problem and asks everyone to provide a helping hand and support.

Every year with new themes; matters that about 100 countries focus on, in that particular year is proposed. The first conference held in Sweden, in 1972; had the theme ‘Only One Earth‘.

In different years, with different themes, different problems are presented. For example, beat the air pollution, 2019 hosted by China; beat the plastic pollution, 2018 hosted by India likewise.

This year it is ‘time for nature and the concern is biodiversity.

Why is the theme for this year biodiversity?

In the preceding years, a number of countries hosted world environment day. Since every country has its environmental issues to deal with; so the hosting country put forward its environmental issues in front of the world.

The disastrous forest fire in Amazon rain forest, Brazil, 2019. The catastrophic Australian bush-fire, 2019-20. Other than these various number of forest or bushfires have occurred in the preceding years. These fires devastate the flora and fauna of that region.

Moreover, the ever-increasing population needs land to live, in and industries to manufacture products. The scarcity of land is compensated by clearing up the forest areas; i.e. deforestation which is not any outlandish matter, which causes extensive loss of biodiversity.

Furthermore, In the past decades’ various diseases have been transmitted from animal to human, which has cost millions of lives. And now this coronavirus-stimulated pandemic, history is repeating itself. With the alarming rise in animal-transmitted diseases, it’s high time we understand the importance of biodiversity and care for it.

All this shows the interdependence of humans with biodiversity. The biodiversity theme of this world environment day is an initiation. particularly to spread awareness of the crucial role biodiversity plays in our life. As well as the role we can play for its protection.

Biodiversity loss

Biodiversity is the most crucial and most complex part of our ecosystem. Prof David Macdonald, at Oxford University, says “Without biodiversity, there is no future for humanity,”.

The loss of biodiversity is now so high that it is about to surpass climate change. We have caused so much loss to it that many of the species have extinct while many stands in the queue. We are “burning the house of millions of animals along with ours“.

Earth has witnessed five major mass extinction by supermassive volcanic eruptions; deep ice ages; meteorite impacts and clashing continents.

  • Ordovician-Silurian Extinction: 440 million years ago.
  • Devonian Extinction: 365 million years ago.
  • Permian-Triassic Extinction: 250 million years ago.
  • Triassic-Jurassic Extinction: 210 million years ago.
  • Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction: 65 Million Years Ago.

Scientist predicts the sixth mass extinction is on its way; The Holocene extinction. This mass extinction would be the result of the enormous loss of biodiversity.

Yes, loss of biodiversity will one day, may lead to the extinction of the entire human race. The end of you and everyone you know is associated with it. Now, does biodiversity loss sounds horrific, or does it still sound like just a small problem?

Interdependency of human and biodiversity

 “Each higher organism is richer in information than a Caravaggio painting, a Bach fugue, or any other great work,” Prof Edward O Wilson; also known as the “father of biodiversity”

This ecosystem we see today have evolved for millions of year to look like this. Each and every component is bound with the other, directly or indirectly.

The mangroves and coral reefs protect the coastal residents’ from tsunamis and cyclones. Trees absorb air pollutants in urban areas. And we do know how important they are to us. coral reefs consist of just 0.1% of the ocean but contribute 25% to maintaining underwater life.

Creatures like monkey and spiders might not seem like a vital part of our ecosystem, but the trees in the dense forest which produces a high amount of oxygen directly depend upon them.

While the exploration of the earth’s biodiversity, there is a revelation of numerous interactions between biodiversity. All these interactions make life on earth possible.

Biodiversity plays a crucial role in every aspect of our lives. For example, medicine for battling cancer comes from fungi, on sloths’ fur. Furthermore, the domesticated animals and crops provide us with food.

For instance, if we measure in money the services that biodiversity and ecosystem provide us it would be worth trillions of dollars; which is double of the world’s GDP. luckily we get it for free.

It’s time for nature

With the current pandemic and many before, nature is giving us signals. We should understand the importance of biodiversity, and also protect it. Especially, now when our demand is more than ever.

You might not know, to satisfy our current needs; it would take 1.6 piles of the earth; to completely satisfy that hunger. By this, we can know how terribly greedy we are. And if we want to live there is one thing for sure, this hunger has to change.

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