May 22 is the International Day for Biological Diversity. It may sound like a mouthful, but it brings awareness to the declining number of species in the world. As you educate yourself, you’ll learn how you can make a difference.
What is biodiversity loss?
Biodiversity refers to the vast number of different species of plants and animals around the world. Biodiversity loss, meaning that the number of unique species is declining, has been happening for decades.
There are several factors that contribute to biodiversity loss1. Climate change has altered ocean temperatures and invasive species threaten foreign ecosystems. People are also using resources faster than the Earth can renew them and polluting the air and oceans.
The International Day for Biological Diversity helps spread awareness of this problem and introduces a new theme each year.
What is this year’s theme?
This year’s theme for the holiday is “Our solutions are in nature”2.
Humanity has accomplished extraordinary technological feats, but we must rely on the Earth’s healthy ecosystems for food, water, medicine, clothes, shelter, energy, and much more. We couldn’t have today’s technology without the Earth’s resources.
Unless we implement changes in our current ways of living, ecosystems will continue to struggle for survival. In turn, we will struggle.
Thankfully, there are ways we can all help as we celebrate Earth’s rich biological diversity.
How can I help?
Though each and every ecosystem is important, we have a special love for the oceans and all the life within them. The coral reefs, shores, kelp forests, mangroves, and other aquatic communities3 need our help to thrive.
Start by reducing, reusing, and recycling the materials you use so they don’t end up in animals’ homes. Choose your sunscreen carefully before you go swimming. Spread awareness to those around you.
The Convention on Biological Diversity is accepting written and video messages from those who want to create a “wave of solidarity.” Learn more and participate here.
Combat loss on the International Day for Biological Diversity
Species decline over time naturally, but current human activity is accelerating that rate. As we commit to change and care for the environment, we’ll see many more species live long and healthy lives.
What are you going to do to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity? Share your ideas in the comments!