World Wildlife Day is celebrated this year under the theme 'Sustaining all Life on Earth', highlighting the unique place of wild fauna and flora as essential components of the world’s biodiversity, as well as a key pillar of livelihoods for people, particularly among communities that live close to nature. The events also came as part of what has been dubbed the ‘biodiversity super year’. This aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 14 and 15, and their wide-ranging commitments on alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and on conserving life both on land and below water to halt biodiversity loss:
- SDG 1 (No Poverty);
- SDG 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns);
- SDG 14 (Life Below Water);
- SDG 15 (Life On Land).
The world currently has a population of about 7 billion people and this is estimated to reach 10 billion people by the year 2060. It is our responsibility as humans to make sure our actions guarantee the survival of the world’s flora and fauna. After all, we are responsible for a great number of species that went extinct.
The animals and plants, as well as micro-organisms, have a vital role in balancing the planet.
The United Nations recently published an article indicating that humanity was responsible for the elimination of 60% of animals since 1970, and this to make space for the needs of humans. To feed the need of humans, many trees and lands were bulldozed for construction. Humans destroyed 33% of coral reefs, the most diverse ecosystem on earth.
Humans are also destroying nature's abilities to produce oxygen. World pollution has a devastating impact on the air we breathe, affecting our food, water, and climate.
This is unfortunately the reality we live in, but with awareness campaigns, humans are better informed and can help change course. Everyone is capable to inform another person and can also do something about it.
What can we do?
- Buy locally and eat only fruits and vegetables in season and from the region. Unfortunately, there is not much produce being harvested in Aruba, and it may be harder to consume locally grown. We can, however, plant more trees.
- Select food with the least amount of packaging and avoid single-use plastics. The single-use plastic ban will be effective starting in July 2020, but we can start the change already.
- Walk or cycle for recreation or to go to nearby locations.
- Use electricity efficiently and try to limit it use.
- Use natural pesticides
- Compost organic food waste;
- Buy only what is needed and do not overspend;
- Do not purchase illegal products or animal-based items.
The year 2020, known as “biodiversity super year,” will host several major global events that place biodiversity at the forefront. It provides a unique opportunity to deliver transformative progress for the conservation and sustainable use of the species of wild animals and plants.
The DNM is committed to the realization of most of the SDGs. This will also be noticed in future publications.