Five ways you can help stop biodiversity loss in your area and around the world

Biodiversity refers to the variety of life found on Earth and the natural systems that grow our food, clean our air and water, and regulate our climate. Human life cannot go on without it. But around ten lakhs Animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.

Parties at the recent United Nations Conference on Biodiversity (COP15) in Montreal agreed A set of targets to reverse global biodiversity loss by 2030. These include protecting 30% of the Earth’s surface and reforming subsidies for agriculture and fishing. Achieving this goal requires coordination between government and business.

Yet the speed at which laws and policies are enacted transcends global boundaries rate loss of biodiversity. Here are some actionable steps you can take to prevent biodiversity loss and restore nature now.

1. Donate

Total area of ​​protected land and sea in the UK growth From 27.6 million hectares in 2017 to 40.6 million hectares in 2022. Most of these areas are run by charities, law firms and local authorities.

These organisations, such as the RSPB and Wildlife Trusts, restore biodiversity by creating new habitats, improving existing ones and ensuring that wild areas are connected to forest corridors and reserves for species to roam. As is the Wildlife Trust Reintroduced beavers In the fenlands of Kent, where wet meadow habitats are now thriving as a result.

But funding for nature conservation in the UK is rare inadequate. the person And business to be able to donation Money to support the work of these organizations.

A beaver is eating leaves in the water.
Beavers restarted to good effect in Kent.

2. Volunteer

Many charities rely on volunteers for administration and marketing, site management or spreading the word about the biodiversity crisis. With the new digital way of working, people can volunteer from their own homes at convenient times. Most fields do not require experience and volunteers often benefit from on-the-job training.

Volunteering can also have other benefits. Research Just two hours spent in nature per week has been shown to benefit health and well-being.

3. Change what you eat

No one likes to be lectured about their diet. But unsustainable farming practices, the expansion of agricultural land and our meat-based Western diet all threaten biodiversity.

Natural habitats have been converted to agricultural land One – a quarter All other mammal species are threatened with extinction. Research It also showed that agricultural intensification now means that more than half of Europe’s bird species are threatened or in decline.

To prevent loss of biodiversity, We have to change What we eat and how much we eat.

of the United Kingdom National Food Strategy and the Food and Land Use Coalition “Better Futures Report” Recommend a diet less dependent on meat. The Food and Land Use Commission, for example, recommends that, starting in 2030, a sustainable adult male diet should include 14 grams of red meat, 29 grams of chicken and other poultry, 250 grams of dairy products, 500 grams of fruits and vegetables, 50 grams per day. almonds and 75 grams of soya beans and other beans.

4. Nature-friendly garden

Urbanization is increasingly fragmenting natural habitats and, as such, species are declining Highest in cities. As cities continue to grow, adopting multiple approaches to biodiversity conservation will become more important.

Our gardens, although generally not spacious enough to sustain species diversity, can be important habitats in urban environments. Working with our neighbors we can Scale up Our gardens help feed insects by growing a network of flowers and provide nesting trees for birds. This will increase biodiversity by creating a patchwork of habitats throughout the neighborhood. Wildlife-friendly parks can create corridors and improve connectivity for a wide range of species, provide shelter or nesting sites, maintain genetic diversity, and increase native plant abundance even in the smallest of spaces.

A Study In 2009 it was found that UK gardens contained 28.7 million trees, 3.5 million ponds and at least 4.7 million bird nests. The number of nesting birds can be increased if we know where to plant trees for maximum effect. Networks of pollinating flowers throughout the garden can also help feed insects and butterflies.

Bee on the purple tree.
Plant networks will allow insects to feed.
David Jesse/Shutterstock

5. Indoor cat and responsible dog owners

Cats are natural predators and allowing your pet to roam freely around the neighborhood – and all the other free-roaming pet cats out there – could be responsible for the deaths of millions of animals each year. Research Australia found that by allowing cats to roam freely, local predation per square kilometer in residential areas was 28-52 times higher than the predation rate of feral cats in natural environments. Cats have had such a devastating impact on Australian wildlife that cat hunting is listed as a major threat to native wildlife. National law.

In the UK, cat ownership in the UK has increased by an average of 13% per year over the last 40 years so that around 90% of UK cats are now pets. This has likewise increased the threat to our native wildlife.

There are several ways to reduce the impact of pet cats on biodiversity. Feeding a cat well reduces their need for prey. Another option is to keep them indoors for part of the day, at night or entirely. The impact of pet cats on Australian wildlife has become so severe that local authorities have introduced them Bylaws And curfew to contain cat hunting.

Cats mainly threaten biodiversity in urban areas. Yet interactions between dogs and wildlife occur more frequently in rural settings.

The problem here arises primarily from hunting and Disease transmission. but Dog feces and urine Fertilizes the soil with nutrients and can change the type of plants that grow in an area. It carries a knock-on effect on the structure of a dwelling. By collecting and disposing of dog feces properly, dog owners can reduce nitrogen input to the soil by 57% and phosphorus by 97%.

The best antidote to despair about the state of the natural world is to immerse yourself in it. Give these steps a try and you should hopefully discover more ways to not only reduce your footprint, but also enjoy a more vibrant local environment.

Imagine a weekly climate newsletter

Don’t have time to read about climate change as much as you’d like?

Get a weekly roundup in your inbox instead. Every Wednesday, The Conversation’s environment editor writes Imagine, a short email that goes a little deeper into just one climate issue. Join the 10,000+ readers who have subscribed so far.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *