Some of the most critical concerns facing our planet today include global warming, the depletion of our natural resources and the dwindling wild animal population.2 percent of the charitable giving in 2008 for the preservation of the environment and protection of wild animals is down 5.5 percent from the previous year.
Global Health is DeterioratingThere is very little time left to stem the calamity of our deteriorating environment. During summer 2007, the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean melted more than the most pessimistic model predicted. Canadians in the Arctic are living with the consequences of climate change now. Across the world there are already long-duration droughts, killer heat waves, retreating glaciers, massive flooding, and powerful storms.Any single event can be dismissed, but put all these events together–the picture is scary.Climate change affects precipitation patterns and dries out our agricultural soils faster. If our crop yields are reduced, billions of people will be fighting it out for food. A recent study on climate change done for the Pentagon concluded, “Once again warfare would define human life.”Should we be worried? The answer is a resounding yes–and doubly so for our children, who will have to live with the consequences of our action–or inaction.
One in Four of the World’s Mammals are at RiskAs of 2008, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List reveals that one in four of the world’s 5,487 known mammal species is at risk of extinction. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was compiled by 1,800 experts from 130 countries and ranks species according to their population status and threat levels. It shows the effects that habitat loss and degradation, over-exploitation, pollutants and climate change are having on the world’s species.Species are threatened in every habitat on every continentIn the time is takes you to read this page, one of our planet’s unique species will become extinct. By this time tomorrow, a further 150–200 will have disappeared forever. And by this time next year, over 50,000 more.This alarming rate of extinction is 100-1,000 times, and perhaps even 11,000 times, greater than the expected natural rate.One in four of the world’s mammals are now threatened with extinction in the near future. So are one in eight birds, one in five sharks, one in four coniferous trees, and one in three amphibians.Many animals and plants become endangered or extinct each year. Recently, however, the rate of them dying out increased dramatically. It is estimated that 27,000 species become extinct each year, about 3 an hour. Since 1996, scientists calculated that 124 types of amphibians, 1,108 types of birds, 734 types of fish, 1,096 types of mammals, and 253 types of reptiles became endangered. This statistics also apply to plantsThe math is simple: Threats are increasing and species populations are decreasing. Unless we address these threats immediately the Red List will only get longer.”“We can reverse these trends when political motivation is high and local communities see the value and benefit from conserving species,” Klenzendorf said.Endangered species must be protected and saved so that future generations can experience their presence and value.
How does this Affect Me?"I understand there may be a biodiversity crisis, but how does that affect me?” Well. You see. It's like this...The Earth’s natural assets - plants, animals, land, water and the atmosphere – sustain the planet’s ecosystems, and that means our health and livelihoods.But we are currently using 25% more natural resources than the planet can sustain As a result species, habitats and local communities are under pressure or direct threats (for example from loss of access to fresh water).Biodiversity underpins the health of the planet and has a direct impact on all our lives.Put simply, reduced biodiversity means millions of people face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease, and where fresh water is in irregular or short supply.For Humans that is Worrying - Very Worrying IndeedPlant and animal species are the foundation of healthy ecosystems. Humans depend on ecosystems such as coastal estuaries, prairie grasslands, and ancient forests to purify their air, clean their water, and supply them with food. When species become endangered, it is an indicator that the health of these vital ecosystems is beginning to unravel. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that losing one plant species can trigger the loss of up to 30 other insect, plant and higher animal species.Our Future is Worth More than 2 PercentWhat will our legacy be to the next generations? The only way to take back the agenda is to devote more resources to the solutions.There are many fine organizations dedicated to preserving our precious planet and reversing the destruction that has been caused. Conservation of threatened animals and endangered species is vitally important. It’s clear that sustainable management of our forests, seas, grasslands and mountains is worth more than 2 percent. This means to contribute to organizations that help to protect wildlife. With your contributions these organizations can help save our precious animals and ecosystem.