September 1, 2022

Biodiversity. What is it good for?

September is Biodiversity Month. A month to appreciate the extraordinary web of life we are part of and to encourage the protection, conservation and growth of biodiversity within Australia and worldwide.

 

Image, Wildlife Org.

 

Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on Earth and it is fundamentally important. All species, including us, rely on many other species to live. Do you remember being taught about the web of life at school. Indeed, our Biology textbook in high school was called ‘The Web of Life’. Who else still has a copy on their bookcase?

 

Our task must be to widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Albert Einstein |  Theoretical Physicist

 

We know so little about the interconnectedness and relationships between different species and we just don’t know if we can afford to lose a species without any adverse impact on its ecosystem. That is why, when sponsoring a revegetation project we work with groups who understand the importance of variety; a variety of species and a variety of layers or levels are vital aspects in the planning of the project.

 

A variety of tree species makes for a healthy ecosystem.

 

Biodiversity supports functioning ecosystems that supply oxygen, clean air and water, pollination of plants, pest control, wastewater treatment and many ecosystem services.  At a time when more than 1 million species are at risk of extinction and the links between human health and the health of the planet are clear the stakes have never been higher.

 

It is that range of biodiversity that we must care for – the whole thing – rather than just one or two stars.

Sir David Attenborough | Documentarian

 

Planting diversity means that more species will benefit from the plants. Insects, spiders, lizards, snails, frogs, birds, echidnas, possums, koalas. Big and small. They are all connected. The Australian Government has written a Biodiversity Strategy (2010 – 2030), which is a guiding framework for the conservation of natural biodiversity. However, given the rate at which we are adding new species to the endangered list (e.g. Koalas) you have to wonder if anyone is actually following its guidelines.

On a personal level, we can all assist in preserving biodiversity by:

  • Creating a natural ecosystem in our garden,
  • Replacing non-native vegetation with local native species,
  • Keeping pets inside or when out, on a lead,
  • Cleaning up after ourselves when using the great outdoors and not picking native flowers,
  • Volunteering with an organisation that protects biodiversity,
  • Make responsible food choices. For example be an informed eater, purchasing food from socially and sustainably responsible growers. Try to reduce food wastage by only buying what we need.

 

Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved.

Jane Goodall | Primatologist

 

Every year biodiversity month is held to help promote the importance of protecting, conserving and improving biodiversity. Let’s promote it!

So what is biodiversity good for? Absolutely everything.

 

Writer; Colleen Filippa. With a background in Environmental Science, Colleen is the Founding Director of Fifteen Trees. In 2009, after 20 years in primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions, Colleen left the classroom to start the company. Fifteen Trees is a social enterprise assisting individuals and companies to reduce their carbon footprint by supporting community groups such as Landcare, schools and environmental networks.

Ref https://www.bct.nsw.gov.au/what-biodiversity-and-why-it-important

 

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