What is being done to combat biodiversity loss, and what can be done to further reduce its impacts.
by jbeach on April 18, 2015 - 11:10pm
Many of the reasons for biodiversity loss have to deal with poverty and education. Therefore, solutions that seek to deal with biodiversity loss first have to deal with these issues. The scale at which biodiversity is being lost is not only a regional or local scale but also exists on a global scale. Because of this, there needs to be action taken at all levels for any effort to be successful. Some solutions seek to set up reserves or preservations, with the goal of excluding individuals who wish to exploit vulnerable species, while others use legal means to go after those who violate country or international laws, which pertain to the illegal sale or distribution of species. Surely there must be some other alternative, which can seek to reduce biodiversity loss, without needing to set aside large areas of land or fining and/or imprisoning people who are just trying to make ends meet. A great example of an organization which seeks to help people escape poverty and establish a working relationship with their home is Jane Goodall's Root & Shoots program. This program aims to conserve biodiversity while educating people, and uses: science along with technology to create and implement best management practices to promote sustainability.
Like Jane Goodall, I believe we can implement education and put the knowledge of research to use in a practical sense, which seeks to benefit every living thing on the planet; regardless of how small or insignificant it may seem. Another example of education doing work to help mitigate biodiversity loss is being done in New York State (US). A program called "operation shellshock", which has had a large number of successful cases in dealing with the illegal trade of reptile and amphibians, as various herpetofauna species were shipped off to China and Europe both for food or because buyers of these species wanted to own a rare/exotic species (Thomas 2006). It was observed through research that many herp species where declinning. This is information is important in terms of ecology because the presence or absence of herps within within their native ecosystems tells us something about their habitat. Through research and investigation it was found that many of these species were being ripped from their native area and relocated into tanks/ponds or dinner tables, and appropriate action was being taken place to prosecute any individual who were involved with the illegal sale of these animals (Thomas 2006). While I agree their needs to be consequences for these actions, the consequences should seek to involve some sort of community service to educate others on why it is important to not remove native species. If we are ever going to make a change for the better education needs to play a large role. The impacts of poverty and education are intertwined and any effort which seeks to reduce loss of biodiversity.
Therefore, by taking what the general conscientious of what scientists tell us and using that information to guide policies which have the best interests of people and science at heart. We also must have a global cultural value shift, which treats nature as something that is sacred and something we seek to protect. We need more programs like Roots & Shoots, which seek to reduce poverty and teaches people how to make due with what they have, wopulationhile simultaneously increasing scientific literacy. We need schools which teach the value of biodiversity, and we need to implement best management practices wherever and whenever possible. As education increases the amount of people who live in poverty is able to decrease, and as more women are empowered to pursue education family size will decrease resulting in less pressure on the earth to sustain our evergrowing populatio. It is my hope that our future begins to grow into one large community, which acknowledges that every individual plays an important part in maintaining biodiversity and that we are all dependent on one another for the earth's longevity.
Thomas, D. 2006. Operation Shellshock. [Online]. New York Conservation Officers Association. Available at: http://nycoa.org/articles/operationshellshock