World Environment Day 2020

There has never been a more important time to focus on biodiversity, the birds, bees, ants and mosses, and how we depend on them for everything we do! Its crazy to think about how much we actually depend on the environment and, more specifically on biodiversity, for EVERYTHING!

P.S. These are known as ecosystem services, we’ll have a whole snapshot dedicated to them in a few weeks!

Biological diversity is the variety of life! It is a system where species, populations, habitats and ecosystems depend on each other. It is important to maintain a rich diversity of all species and in the ecosystem so that everything runs smoothly. (And so we can join in and get those juicy ecosystem services, like pollination, water filtration and cancer busting drugs!)

Curlew – Numenius arquata

But, it is not all sunshine and rainbows. We’ve all heard the news. Words and phrases like ‘Endangered’, ‘In decline’, ‘Extinct’ and ‘The last one left’ are becoming way too common. Increase in intensive agriculture, monoculture forestry, peat harvesting and the increasing human population is squeezing biodiversity, nature and all its habitats to breaking point. 

Currently there are 1 million plant and animal species at risk of extinction (UN Environment Programme, 2020). 

The Facts

bumble bee
The Great Yellow Bumblebee – Bombus distinguendus
  • 20% of all of Ireland’s species are currently under threat! Including the curlew who’s numbers, since the 70’s, have declined by 96% (Fitzgearld, 2019).
  • Over one third of Ireland’s 98 bee species are threatened with extinction. The Great Yellow Bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus) only has a few populations remaining.
  • Due to peat harvesting and drainage, Ireland’s amazing bogs are dwindling in numbers day by day. 
  • And we all know how bad a state our rivers are in! 

But….. you can help halt BIODIVERSITY today!

What can I do to help?

Like we said, its not too late to make a difference. Every little bit counts. You can start small. To help biodiversity in Ireland today you can do these Five easy steps!

  • Mow your lawn less! And follow the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan at www.pollinators.ie
  • Avoid peat based products like turf and many composts, peat is made from dried out bog moss (sphagnum) literally sods of protected habitat in your hands! 
  • Make your own compost, with kitchen scraps at home.
  • Avoid pesticides, leave it up to the professionals when it comes to invasive species.
  • Make sure to bring the kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews to local protected areas, allow them to experience nature.

 Follow the link below to sign up and stay involved with World Environment Day.

https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/get-involved/subscribe-updates

If you see any form of wildlife or invasive species whilst out on your walk, make sure to report it to the National Biodiversity Data Centre at https://records.biodiversityireland.ie/start-recording

#givenatureachance #biodiversityaware #wildaboutnature

 

Written by Mary Moroney and Luke Myers

 

References

Department of Environment, Heritage, and Local Government. (2007). Why is Biodiversity Important? Retrieved from www.noticenature.ie: http://www.noticenature.ie/why_is_it_important.html

Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. (2007). Why is biodiversity important? Retrieved from www.noticenature.ie: http://www.noticenature.ie/why_is_it_important.html

Fitzgearld, C. (2019, 05 11). Animals and plants are disappearing faster than at any other time in human history, and it’s happening in Ireland too. Retrieved from www.journal.ie: https://www.thejournal.ie/biodiversity-ireland-4629280-May2019/

National Biodiversity Data Centre. (2018, 10 02). BIODIVERSITY – a crisis in Ireland and globally. Retrieved from www.biodiversityireland.ie: http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/biodiversity-a-crisis-in-ireland-and-globally/

National Biodiversity Data Centre. (2019, 05 06). IPBES & Ireland’s biodiversity crisis. Retrieved from www.biodiversityireland.ie : https://www.biodiversityireland.ie/ipbes-irelands-biodiversity-crisis/

National Biodiversity Data Centre. (2020). 10 species at risk of losing. Retrieved from www.biodiversityireland.ie: https://www.biodiversityireland.ie/biodiversity-irelands-top-10/10-species-risk-losing/

UN Environment Programme. (2020). World Environment Day 2020. Retrieved from www.worldenvironmentday.global: https://p.widencdn.net/e2n0wj/WED_SimpleToolkit

United Nations . (2020). United Nations. Retrieved from www.un.org: https://www.un.org/en/observances/environment-day

(www.biodiversity.). Retrieved from https://www.biodiversityireland.ie/biodiversity-irelands-top-10/10-species-risk-losing/

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