Biodiversity is the measure of the variety of life on our planet, everything from ecosystems such as rainforests and wetlands and animal life from whales to bees, pollen and algae.
All living things interact, and have created ecosystems,
that support life on Earth.
People depend on biodiversity in their daily lives.
Human health depends upon ecosystem products and services (such as availability of freshwater, food and fuel sources) which are requisite for good human health and productive livelihoods.
Biodiversity loss can have significant direct human health impacts if ecosystem services are no longer adequate to meet social needs.
"Biodiversity is not just important for
nature lovers, it provides crucial services in
food production, carbon storage, water quality
& air quality"
"The Earth is facing a dual crisis of rapid climate change and unprecedented biodiversity loss. A UN report on biodiversity estimates the global rate of species extinction is currently tens to hundreds of times higher than it has averaged over the past 10 million years."
- National Geographic
Bees are dying from a variety of factors - pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutrition deficit,air pollution, global warming and more. Many of these causes are interrelated. The bottom line is that we know humans are largely responsible for the two most prominent causes: pesticides and habitat loss.
Visit www.greenpeace.org for more
Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers.
Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say.
“If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse,” says Prof Dave Goulson of Sussex University, UK.
What are the reasons for biodiversity loss?
4 Major Value Chains drive 90% of man-made pressure on Biodiversity:
Food, Energy, Infrastructure & Fashion
Human population increase and wild areas are lost to create farms, housing, and industry.
Loss of river and lake habitats as water is extracted for farms and people.
Cutting down of forests (30 million hectares lost globally in 2016) - equivalent size of Britain and Ireland being cut down annually
Diseases caused by international
trade and shipping
What Can We Do?
"Nature Is Everyone's Business"
Join businesses around the world who are calling for ambitious and collective action to address climate change to preserve nature's biodiversity.
Wilding by Isabella Tree – how a farm returned to nature
The book describes an attempt to renew the ecosystem, after decades of intensive agriculture of some 1,400 hectares owned by Tree’s husband Charlie Burrell at Knepp in West Sussex. The project, which began in 2001, is perhaps unique in England, and the results have been spectacular. In what has become a glorious “mess”, the animals live out in the open all year round and give birth unassisted by humans.
Help biodiversity in your garden by providing
habitats for pollinators
"Plant Native Wildflower seeds in your garden and watch as bees and butterflies flock to your wildlife haven"
Bee on Your Best Beehive-iour: What You Can Do to Protect Bees.
Choose native and bee-friendly plants
Let go of the idea of a 'perfect lawn'
Help keep bees hydrated
Don't use pesticides
Buy local honey
Promote bee nesting
Avoid exterminating bees
Support legislation that protects pollinators
Our mission is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature. We're striving to safeguard the natural world, helping people live more sustainably and take action against climate change. We spend a lot of time working with communities, with politicians and with businesses to find solutions so people and nature can thrive.
"BirdLife International is a global partnership of conservation organisations (NGOs) that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. Together we are over 100 BirdLife Partners worldwide – one per country or territory – and growing."
One way we can make a difference is by changing what we eat! According to world wildlife fund (www.org.uk), producing food is the greatest driver of wildlife loss (as well as contributing about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions which are causing climate change.)
Société d'Ornithologie de Polynésie (MANU) - French Polynesia
The purpose of the Ornithological Society of Polynesia - "MANU" - is to take action to protect the birds, habitats and biodiversity of French Polynesia, and work with the human population to promote the sustainable management of natural resources
Grow Your Own Food
Avoid Using Pesticides
Plant Native Trees & Shrubs
Let Your Lawn & Even he Dandelions Grow
Let Dandelions Grow
Ways to Increase Biodiversity
From Biodiversity Ireland
In today's world, it's time we redefine what beauty really is. Wild is beautiful!
Letting grass grow which is, after all, a pretty passive thing to do, is probably the single most effective thing you can do in any garden of any size to encourage particularly insect life, but also small mammals & invertebrates.
One of the best ways to encourage wildflowers in your garden is to leave a patch of lawn to its own devices during spring and summer.
Change how you mow & let the wildflowers grow...
Changes in Farming
How an Arable Farmer Benefited from Planting Apple Trees:
"I’m making use of the space both above and the farm, and I’m more productive because of it."
Soil Concerns: trees in rows act as a windbreak, preventing soil eroding while anchoring soil due to their deep root system.
Fruit Crop: by planting fruit trees, additional produce can be sold for additional income.
What to Consider Before Planting
Know what you want to get from trees - long term & short term goals
Invest in infrastructure - protect young trees & give them necessary support
Recognise that compromises may exist
Don't be put off if you don't own the land you farm
"Freedom Gardens is a community driven platform reconnecting people to growing food. Freedom Gardens is a collective resource that shares the personal stories, wisdom, and knowledge of farmers and home-growers. Our vision is to help empower our community to grow thriving edible gardens to support their physical and mental health, and to provide relief from a volatile, centralized, and unjust food system."
In The News
Global Leaders agree to scale up response to biodiversity collapse
Photograph: EPA/Ludovic Marin for The Irish Times
The Irish Times, Mon January 11th 2021
Commitment to protect land and marine ecosystems made at One Planet Summit hosted by French president Macron.
More than 50 countries have committed to protecting at least 30 per cent of the world’s land and oceans by 2030 in an attempt to halt a global biodiversity crisis.
The commitment to prevent mass extinctions while ensuring clean air and water was made at the One Planet Summit (OPS) staged virtually on Monday, and hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron.
What is biodiversity and why does it matter to us?
Illustration: Frances Marriott
The Guardian, Mon March 12th 2018
The air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat all rely on biodiversity, but right now it is in crisis – because of us. What does this mean for our future and can we stop it?
It is the variety of life on Earth, in all its forms and all its interactions. If that sounds bewilderingly broad, that’s because it is. Biodiversity is the most complex feature of our planet and it is the most vital. “Without biodiversity, there is no future for humanity,” says Prof David Macdonald, at Oxford University.
The term was coined in 1985 – a contraction of “biological diversity” – but the huge global biodiversity losses now becoming apparent represent a crisis equalling – or quite possibly surpassing – climate change.
The Pew Charitable Trust
Illustration: Frances Marriott