Our planet is home to 8.7 million different species and that only includes the ones which we’ve discovered. According to scientists, a majority of them are still a mystery and it could take us more than a thousand years to catalogue them all.
Conservation is of utmost priority right now, not just to protect flora and fauna but also to protect ourselves. It plays a huge part in our everyday lives and if we don’t realise that, the consequences will be ours to bear too.
Here’s how conservation protects our future –
Preserving biodiversity is fundamental to agriculture, food production, and health. Without the pollinators— the insects, birds, and other animals who are now being pushed out of agricultural lands through the use of pesticides and insecticides—many of the foods we know and love would disappear.
Protecting habitat also ensures agricultural biodiversity. Already, research has shown that habitat destruction has altered seasonal rainfall patterns across the world, causing a disruption in crop production. Maintaining a healthy and diverse habitat can help combat climate change by acting as an effective carbon sink and preventing erosion of soil.
Protecting our health –
There are multiple forms of contamination in any ecosystem – water bodies full of toxic chemicals from industrial processes, trash blowing away from landfills, and city skies covered in smog. Long-term solutions like utilization of clean energy, conservation of forests, and efficient waste management systems protect our natural eco-systems from further damage, improving our health and the health of the trees and wildlife
We also depend on conservation for our medicines. It might seem like they are manufactured in labs using only synthetic ingredients but almost half of all modern medicines come directly or indirectly from the natural world.
Moreover, healthy ecosystems, provide important buffers between humans and disease, reducing the transmission of animal-borne diseases to humans.
Conservation efforts can create new opportunities that can help the local economy thrive. Protected areas attract more tourists and as local communities begin to see their natural resources as sources of tourist income, they work harder to protect those resources.
How can we help?
Each of us can be part of the conservation efforts in our own small way. By using our voice to spread awareness on social media or planting a tree or by saying no to plastic. You can even organise clean-up drives or support a local conservation group and volunteer. Tell your friends and family about it and who knows, you might just inspire them to join the eco-movement. While it might not seem enough at the beginning, remember it’s the little things that add up to bring about a big change.