BIODIVERSITY CRISIS AS WILDLIFE POPULATION PLUMMETS BY 69%-WWF
According to the 2022 Living Planet Report, the number of wildlife populations plummeted by 69% on average since 1970. A dire warning that our rich biodiversity is rapidly vanishing as a result of habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution, climate change, and animal extinctions. The systems that sustain all life on earth, including humans, depend on the diversity of species on the planet, or biodiversity. It provides us with things like clothing, food, and medications that are necessary for human survival. If we don’t alter the way humans interact with the environment, biodiversity will keep declining.
A million plant and animal species are in danger of extinction, and the world’s coral reefs and forest ecosystems are vanishing at a rate of about half a minute. It seems apparent that the way we interact with nature now is detrimental. Despite the fact that taking one or two modest steps may not seem like enough, people all across the world may work together to bring change. We can all have a significant impact by joining WWF and taking part in its initiatives aimed at enhancing our relationship with nature.
A significant component of ensuring that the public is informed and taught about biodiversity conservation is through the media. “The media is an important and critical stakeholder in climate change discussions and actions which are aimed at helping us reverse the nature laws.” stated Jackson Kiplagat, Sustainable Investments Expert at WWF.
The Association of Media Women in Kenya also performs this duty through its partnership project called CONNECT (Collaboration efforts in conjunction with conserving national capital and enhancing collaborative management of transboundary resources in East Africa). The goal of the initiative is to work with editors and journalists to increase coverage of wildlife conservation and landscape management. The project also attempts to raise public awareness of illicit poaching and wildlife trafficking.
The government also has a role to play through enacting legislation that safeguards forests and natural areas. As humans, it is our responsibility to return to nature what we have received, without placing any conditions on it. There are numerous strategies to stop the destruction of wildlife, including bolder and more ambitious conservation activities. However, fundamental changes in how we produce and consume are also required, such as enhancing the effectiveness of the food business and commerce, reducing waste, and promoting healthier, more sustainable diets.
This year’s Living Planet Report may have been shocking but it is not all bad news though because given the chance, nature may recover. For instance, according to the latest census results which come out every 5-10 years the number of mountain gorillas has climbed from 408 in 2010 to around 1,063 in the wild. Making a big difference through conservation efforts is achievable.
By Zawadi Mutunga- Intern