We live on a beautiful planet. God created a world in all its wonderful variety, and he was pleased with it.
“The land produced vegetation – all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:12
These days we use the term biodiversity to describe the rich diversity of life on Earth – everything from beetles to tigers, wild flowers to giant trees. 12 million species – and that’s only the ones we know about! Sadly, the destruction of habitat and the effects of pollution combine with invasion from other species has resulted in the complete extinction of many species. Take peat bogs for instance – those springy, soggy bits of moorland you find if you are out walking. Only 70 years ago there was twenty times the area of peat bog of the UK. Described as the “UKs rainforests” they are full of rare plants and creatures. Thinking globally, the world is a poorer place since the last Javan tiger was seen in 1980, and orangutans and black rhino are both on the critical list.
Now I think that it’s a great pity that things die out, but I used to think that the climate crisis and the plastics in our oceans were more pressing issues. And yet the UN, last November, said that the loss of biodiversity is as much of a threat to the human race as climate change. Why?
- Without plants, life on earth cannot exist. We either eat plants, or products from animals that eat plants.
- Fish supplies are also rapidly diminishing
- At least 50 000 plant species are used in traditional and modern medicine
- We need insects to pollinate our crops, and to control pests and diseases
- As plant life decreases carbon dioxide levels rise, which causes more climate change…
- Deforestation leads to more floods, droughts and extreme temperatures
- Plants help to purify air and water
So, what can you do? These tips come from the WWF website https://wwf.panda.org/our_work/biodiversity/what_you_can_do/
- Be careful when buying holiday souvenirs. Are they made from the skin, fur, bone, shell, beak or hooves of an endangered species? (If so, they are also most probably illegal).
- Only buy wood from a sustainable (legal) source. Look for the FSC label, on e.g. garden furniture and wooden flooring
- Use only recycled paper
- Buy sustainable seafood – look for the blue MSC logo.
- And keep on doing all you already do to fight climate change
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