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Biodiversity: Why it matters

“To restore stability to our planet, we must restore its biodiversity, the very thing we have removed.
It is the only way out of this crisis that we ourselves have created. We must rewild the world.”


Sir David Attenborough



“Biodiversity”

You might be wondering why we’re talking about biodiversity and the answer really is simple.
Because we need to. Biodiversity loss is one of the biggest environmental crises that we currently face.

The reality is that biodiversity represents the health of our planet and the future of our existence.
Without it, we have no future here at all.



Biodiversity

What is meant by biodiversity?

Biological diversity (or biodiversity) is used to describe the variety of life on Earth. It refers to the variety of living beings at every level, from animals and plants to microscopic bacteria and fungi.

Think of biodiversity like an orchestra, explains Professor Os Schmitz at the Yale School of the Environment. “You’ve got a variety of different instruments. You’ve got string instruments, woodwinds, brass, and within each of those groups, you also have different shapes and sizes of instruments that function together to create a wonderful harmony. That’s the kind of diversity that we’re interested in with species on Earth”. Imagine removing just one of these instruments from an orchestra (even something small like the percussion) and the sound is never the same again. In the same way, each individual life form on our planet plays an important role. Remove one element, and everything else is affected.

Understanding these delicate and essential relationships between living beings is the first step to understanding biodiversity and the significance of its decline. This ecological harmony is so incredibly delicate that the tiniest disruption could cause incredibly dramatic consequences. Life forms we depend on for survival could be wiped out.



How is biodiversity threatened?

The extinction of different species is currently occurring at rates never experienced before.

The reason why? You guessed it - humans.

It’s estimated that the rate of extinction is 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate (the rate of extinction without human influence). Research found that the loss of tropical rainforests globally is equivalent to losing an area of rainforest the size of a football pitch every six seconds. Land-clearing, climate change and pollution are the main causes for this rapid loss of biodiversity and the common theme in all of these, is human activity.

Sadly, no area of our planet has been left unaffected by these environmental changes. Every habitat has been impacted by human life, particularly rainforests, woodlands, coral reefs, and mangrove forests. Over the last few years the forest fires in the Amazon rainforest reminded us of the high levels of deforestation occurring every day. Between August 2019 to July 2020, 11,088 sq km of Amazon rainforest was lost, an unprecedented rate of habitat destruction and biodiversity loss. In the case of Madagascar, an area rich with unique species, the influence of cattle grazing, logging and other poorly managed agricultural activities have left the island with 17 percent of its original vegetation cover.



So why is biodiversity important and why do we need to maintain it?

It’s clear that humans are putting a lot of stress on the natural world and in many cases, these threats will cause irreversible damage. But why is biodiversity loss particularly problematic and why is it important to maintain it?

To answer this, let’s take a look at what nature does for us (benefits known as ‘ecosystem services’).
These services are grouped into the following four categories:


ecosystem services

It’s pretty impressive when you look at it like that, isn’t it? These ‘ecosystem services’provide, regulate and support almost all human activities, from the food we eat and the medicines we rely on, to our clean air and water resources. Healthy ecosystems are therefore crucial for human and animal populations as they provide the services that all lives depend on. Greater biodiversity leads to an ecosystem with higher productivity and resilience, promoting this wide range of ecosystem services. The health of our people and planet are dependent on biodiversity, which is why it is so important that we help maintain it and protect our planet.



Why is biodiversity important to Naturisimo?

We strongly value the natural world here at Naturisimo and want to do our best to help protect it. Healthy ecosystems are critical to every aspect of our business, from the ingredients in our products, to the health and wellbeing of our employees. But it doesn’t just end there. This is a part of our commitment to being a truly ethical brand. The health of our planet is our health. This is why Naturisimo choses to partner with environmental organisations, like the World Land Trust, Conservation Collective and 1% for the Planet, that work tirelessly to protect our environment and the biodiversity within it. We will continue to do what we can as a business to help support global efforts in maintaining biodiversity.



What can you do to help?

The good news is that as a member of the Naturisimo community, you’re already helping to support charities who are working to protect and preserve our planet’s biodiversity. We’re a member of 1% for the Planet and have recently partnered with Conservation Collective, who work tirelessly all over the world to promote conservation. So everytime you shop with us, a portion goes to help support our planet from the ground up.

There are also plenty of other ways that we, as individuals, can make a difference. You can even look locally to help protect biodiversity. Have a look at the following list for suggestions:

Save the bees! Plant a range of flowers in your garden so bees have access to nectar from March to October or build a bee box to support local bees. You can also buy sustainable honey, or drop the honey altogether and try alternatives like maple syrup or agave. Have a look at the WWF’s Bee Friendly advice for more information.

 

Get planting. If you have the space to do so or have access to a local nursery or community allotment, start planting local flowers, trees, fruits or vegetables. Planting produce or plants can help preserve ecosystems as they can act as key biodiversity corridors.

 

Check your products. As a consumer, have a look for products with labels such as Rainforest Alliance Certified, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or the Soil Association. These certifications tell us that the products you are buying promote socially and environmentally positive practices.

 

If you want to learn more about the importance of biodiversity for supporting our planet or the ways humans
are harming it, have a look at one of these books:

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Wilding by Isabella Tree

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

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