Today is the International Day for Biological Diversity, or to put it in more simple terms, Biodiversity Day. A day to truly celebrate the variety of life on Mother Earth – but what is biodiversity? This term refers to all living organisms and their ecosystems. It is a day to celebrate how different each species is and recognise how important they are to supporting life on earth.
Biodiversity is important for so many reasons – not only does it support life on earth, but it provides us with a whole range of different services. Things like pollination, clean air and natural flood control are all thanks to biodiversity. It also plays an important role in food security as it provides us with all the plants and crops that end up on our plate each night.
Despite its importance, our biodiversity is under threat for many different reasons. This is due to human activities like deforestation, pollution, and climate change. This impacts our environment and the species that depend on it.
That’s why we have partnered with WWF to support biodiversity and conservation efforts globally! We recognise all the important things WWF are doing around the world to support the wellbeing of our planet and we wanted to support that. WWF is one of many organisations championing the protection of our biodiversity world-wide. Today, we wanted to highlight some feel-good success stories to demonstrate the efforts taking place globally to help our biodiversity thrive.
Habitat Conservation - Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique.
The Gorongosa National Park was once considered one of the most diverse and abundant wildlife reserves in Africa until a civil war in the 1970s turned the park into a battlefield. This led to illegal hunting and poaching of the animals who lived there and widespread deforestation. In 2004 a partnership between the Government of Mozambique and a US-based non-profit helped to restore the national park to its former glory. The park is now home to over 700 bird species, 100 mammal species (including lions and elephants!) and 50 fish species. Today, Gorongosa National Park is considered a conservation success story and is celebrated globally.
Habitat Restoration – The Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States however for many years has suffered due to environmental problems. Issues such as pollution, sewage and industrial waste have all led to serious issues that have impacted wildlife populations and even threatened human health. In 1993, a partnership was formed between the six states that all border the bay – these are Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and New York. The partnership aimed to restore and protect the bay’s ecosystem.
Thanks to this partnership much of the biodiversity has been restored and rebuilt, along with improvements to the monitoring and management of the bay’s ecosystem. Today, The Chesapeake Bay still faces challenges, however thanks to the ongoing partnership ambitious targets have been set to reduce pollution, restore more habitats, and improve the water quality.
Reducing Plastic Pollution – The Plastic Bank
The Plastic Bank is a social enterprise founded in 2013 with the goal to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans whilst providing employment opportunities for people in developing countries. The Plastic Bank sets up collection centres in areas of high plastic waste and residents will be paid for any plastic waste they are able to collect and bring to the centre. Today there are collection centres in Haiti, the Philippines and Indonesia with plans to expand into more countries. It has not only helped to provide jobs for local residents but has improved waste management in these communities and prevented tonnes of plastic waste from entering the world’s oceans. To learn more about this amazing initiative, click here!
These are just a few examples of incredible things being done worldwide to protect our biodiversity. Do you know of any great initiatives? Let us know in the comments below!