Friday 5th June is World Environment Day (WED) with this year’s theme ‘Celebrate Biodiversity’, looking at how we will tackle the increasing loss of species and habitat losses and is hosted by Columbia which boasts one of the highest biodiversity of species in the world – 10% of our planet’s biodiversity. As part of the Amazon rainforest, Columbia has 19% of the world’s bird species and over 3500 species of orchid.
Many of us have probably heard about WED as it has been around for nearly 50 years and even taken notice of some recent and very prominent campaigns like ‘Beat Air Pollution’, chosen because air pollution is linked to 7 million deaths annually and the very popular ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, which highlighted the extent of our over-reliance on single use plastics.
Biodiversity in the UK is nowhere near the level of Columbia, but we are still dependant on biodiversity in many areas of our lives.
We depend on the study of plant and animal species for the development of new drugs and treatments to keep us healthy and well. The natural environment is good for both our physical and mental wellbeing and this has never been more apparent than with the Covid19 restrictions. Many of us are sitting in our gardens, reconnecting with nature, and listening and watching the birds sing or finding a fox or deer on the streets because of the reduced traffic and footfall or taking in some beautiful countryside or canal towpaths during our daily exercise allowance.
Many of our commercial and retail industries rely on biodiversity and a range of natural resources for economic growth – construction industry depends on large volumes of sustainable timber, the textile industry needs natural fibres for clothing and furnishing and we need renewable fuel for transport, heating and lighting to reduce our fossil fuel use which damages biodiversity by contributing to CO2 emissions, climate change and increase habitat losses.
Our food chain is heavily dependent on biodiversity for a healthy variety of diet and we rely on pollinators such as bees, wasps, insects, butterflies, moths and even bats to help pollinate and spread the seeds of food crops and other wild plants which support other wildlife.
Biodiversity also helps our planet look after herself by cleaning pollutants from the water and air by absorbing CO2 and mitigating the effects for climate change, it helps to enrich the soils and reduce soil erosion and help protect land and coast from the effects of flooding and erosion.
This year, by focusing on biodiversity, World Environment Day is urging us to look at how our activities are impacting on our natural environment and realise that we each play a role and can help reduce biodiversity loss and look after the planet better for future generations to come.
Here at Safety For Design, we are not just a ‘Health & Safety’ consultancy… We also do the ‘E’ in HSE. We care about the environment and want to have a positive impact on it through the services we provide. If you would like to know how we can help you do your bit for the environment, please get in touch.