The 22:nd of May is the United Nations International Day for Biological Diversity. The purpose of this theme day is to act as a reminder of the importance of biological diversity for the wellbeing of all life on Earth. Around 20% of the world’s species are endangered, and around one species on average go extinct every month. Out of the 7000 domesticated plant species that humans have cultivated throughout the long history of agriculture, only 30 plant species remain in our diet today.
Right now, we see an accelerating mass death of species that are particularly important for life on planet Earth. This may be due to environmental degradation, a rampant global temperature increase and human impact of natural habitats that are needed for these species. A crushing majority of scientists around the world warns of the consequences if we humans do not change our behavior. We have to start prioritizing differently. We must produce and consume, not only sustainably but in ways that actively contribute to the recovery of ecosystems. This year’s theme of the UN’s International Day for Biodiversity is “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health”.
There are many things you can do to help our planet to a continued variety of species. In many ways, it is our attitude towards the local environment, and to the greater natural world, which affects our choices. The sense of wonder and beauty, and our understanding of nature as something alive and of self-worth, awakens a will to protect it. If you want to celebrate to this day, try something from the list below. Tell others about your activities on this day, and please continue to do them every other day – without nature we cannot live!
• Explore the nature in your immediate surroundings.
• Construct birdhouses and insect hotels nests. Read about making birdhouses.
• Invite local politicians to participate on a walk in nature.
• Talk about the importance of biological diversity at home, maybe around the dinner table.
• Learn to identify the different plants and animals in your area. Make it into a fun game for your kids, friends and neighbors!
• Write articles and letters to the editor about the environment and biological diversity, share your thoughts, knowledge and tips!
The Earth is our home, our garden and our acre. Our planet is amazing and unique. Long may it live!