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Today is International Day for Biological Diversity.

What are we celebrating?

What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the name we give to the variety of all life on Earth. From bacteria to orangutans, from plants to people, the range of life on our planet is incredible.

All living things exist within their own communities: forests, oceans, deserts, ice caps, and even cities. All this put together is biodiversity - the volume of life on Earth as well as how different species interact with each other and with the environment around them.

Why is Biodiversity so Important?

Humans rely on biodiversity to survive. We are intertwined in a big natural system, and each element supports and enables all of us to thrive.

Sometimes people think that they can just remove a species, and it will all be fine, but plants and animals are interconnected in complicated ways that we don’t always understand.

Without biodiversity, the entire support system for humans, as well as every single species on the planet, would collapse. We depend on nature to provide us with the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. So much is provided by the natural ecosystems around us, which is why biodiversity is truly vital to life on Earth.

The Alarming Decline of Asia’s Biodiversity

Asia is one of the richest places on Earth for biodiversity and hosts many of the Earth’s most incredible animals, including the moon bear, snow leopard, and Asian elephant. In many areas, however, these species are threatened by some of the world’s highest rates of habitat loss, driven by rapid population growth.

In response to the global biodiversity crisis, last December in Montreal, during the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15, nearly 200 governments around the world adopted a new agreement to protect at least a third of our planet’s lands and seas by 2030 and mobilize more funds than ever to conserve the Earth’s remaining biodiversity. This unprecedented agreement recognizes the vital role of indigenous peoples and territories. The entire planet will be under “spatial planning” to ensure the land is cared for in a sustainable way. And 30% of the planet’s lands and oceans will be under restoration by 2030.

Why it matters: While science says more should be done to save hundreds of thousands of species from mass extinction, this agreement is a huge victory in the fight to protect life on Earth and recognize the vital role of indigenous peoples and territories. It provides a pathway to protect at least 50% of the planet, and a new chapter has started.

What Can You Do as an Individual to Preserve Biodiversity?

You can help to protect biodiversity by keep pushing our leaders to put our planet before profits - to ensure we can hold governments accountable to implement this agreement and accelerate efforts to protect life on Earth. According to IPBES, there are up to one million species going extinct. The change we need to save these species comes from policymakers and strong commitment from governments around the world to follow up on their promises.

As an individual, we can make a difference in our daily life:

  • Reducing, reusing, and recycling waste: If we can reduce our demand for new resources, then less habitat destruction and energy use will need to occur to extract and produce products.

  • Minimizing the use of pesticides and fertilizers: These products often run off into surrounding environments, having adverse effects on the species living there.

  • Choosing organic food: This helps to reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

  • Reducing energy consumption at home: Unplug electrical devices when not in use, and consider incorporating renewable energy into your home.

  • Avoiding single-use plastic: All disposable plastic is bad. Even if the plastic item is marked as recyclable, if it’s designed to be thrown away then it is considered single-use. 90% of plastic is never recycled after it is discarded.

Asian wildlife has never been in greater need. Together we can be a force for positive change. Consider making a generous gift to Asia Wild today. Your donation will support biodiversity conservation efforts, helping to safeguard some of the most endangered animals in Asia and ensuring that these iconic animals do not disappear from our planet forever.


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