It’s easy to think nature will always be with us. But it depends on whether we let nature go to the wall or act to repair, restore and maintain it. Right now species are going extinct and the natural systems that support all life on Earth are being eroded faster than ever before.
Nature gifts many benefits to humans. From the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat, nature enhances our wellbeing and freely provides the essentials for our survival.
Nature is incredibly important for human well-being as they enhance our physical, mental, and emotional health. Think of how nice it feels to hike through a forest, build driftwood huts on the beach, or camp along a lake. And aside from recreational activities, nature also plays muse to some of our greatest artists.
The Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, by the UN’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), found that the loss of natural habitats around the world has placed 1 million species at risk of extinction. With every species that is lost, the foundations of economies, food security and health are further eroded. This has potentially grave implications for human life.
The report is overwhelming in its scope and urgency. However, it also provides hope, direction and practical solutions that can be put in place anywhere in the world. The report recommends transformative changes for governments, changes in our consumption patterns and massive investments in conservation and restoration. Without these efforts to protect habitat, many species could disappear within decades.
The UN report provides us with the motivation that we can all become part of the solution. We can start by supporting conservation projects and joining organizations that are actively working to protect nature and the interconnected life support systems that support nature and people.