If you grew up in a world before the digital revolution, where youtube videos accompany practically every meal and the people’s screen time average 4-6 hours a day, you’d have vivid memories of a world that revolved around trees and nature. Parks that bustled with several species of shrubs, grass that was green on all sides, streets that were filled with the fresh scent of flowers blooming in the spring and the canopy of trees that enabled people to take leisurely walks, roads that were strewn with children playing their favourite games like there was no tomorrow.
Regardless of how smart and enterprising we are as a species, we’ve always had to depend on nature for our survival and happiness. Global economies are embedded in nature, whether we admit it or not. While it’s no secret that humans have, for the most part, been the bane of nature flourishing, 2020 showed us the kind of positive impact our lifestyles can have on nature if we choose to slow down and be more mindful.
This International Day of Biodiversity, let’s look at ways we can be a part of the solution #ForNature.
One of our favourite botanical illustrators, Nirupa Rao, said in her TED Talk, “I’ve often wondered why the average child can rattle off their top 10 favourite animals, but struggle to identify even the vegetables on their plate.”
While we look to protect our nature and the lush biodiversity it holds, we need to understand what exactly is this biodiversity. Most of us can recognize a wide range of animals of course, but how often have we approached the plant kingdom with such enthusiasm?
Yet we’ve mindlessly cut down large forests of trees and destroyed coral reefs - all for the “advancement of mankind”. If there’s anything that this pandemic has taught us, it is that we cannot get too far without building a system that encompasses all of its inhabitants - the birds of the air, the flowers of the field, and everything between them.
India, which is famously known as one of the mega-diverse countries, is home to some of the rarest species of plants and animals amidst lush deciduous forests. Its 4 biological diversity hotspots house 7% of all recorded species of which several are solely confined to India. To damage this rich heritage we possess would be a great tragedy - for our vast diversity and more importantly, our existence. Some ways we can help protect the biodiversity of our local environments are:
- Planting local flowers, fruits and vegetables to support the ecosystem of your local area
- Green your life: As consumers, the more we support sustainable business practices and make eco friendly changes in our lifestyles, the more our local biodiversity can thrive.
- Supporting local farmers who employ sustainable agricultural practices to yield a produce
- Contact your local governing bodies to ask for the enforcement of laws that protect the natural ecosystem in your community
- Educate yourself on sustainability, climate change and help others do the same to help increase awareness on the importance of our natural ecosystems.
Individuals and businesses both need to recognize that solutions lie in nature. Even the most technologically advanced solutions need to be based on nature’s systems in order to be sustainable and viable in the long run.
Every single species has an important role to play as it boosts ecosystem productivity. Climate change and over-exploitation of natural resources are the foremost reasons for the degradation of biodiversity therefore we need to protect our biodiversity for it threatens our survival itself! As we all try our best to protect our local environments for the benefit of the present and future, we just want to tell you, ‘May the forests be with you ;)”
Written by: Reshma Bhat