Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), a not-for-profit based in Benin City, Nigeria, has called for urgent and collective effort to protect and preserve biodiversity. The ecological think tank explains the importance of biodiversity, the threats to it and how it must be preserved, in a set of videos which have been released to mark the 2020 World Environment Day.
HOMEF’s Project Officer, Mfoniso Antia, stated: “Biodiversity is life. It is the hanger that sustains human existence. It helps maintain the balance of ecosystems and keeps them functioning and self-sustaining. A continued destruction of biodiversity will mean a distortion of the balance of life.”
“Food production systems depend on the diversity of organisms including the plants, plant eaters, carnivores, decomposers (microorganisms) and the pollinators all of whose activities are interconnected. Biodiversity is linked to the resilience of ecosystems. In Agriculture, it ensures resilience to the impacts of climate change,” stated Joyce Ebebeinwe, who is also of HOMEF.
A volunteer with HOMEF, Benita Siloko, pointed out: “The functioning of ecosystems and the services they provide depend on biodiversity and environmental condition. Given that human activities are causing loss of biodiversity and changing environmental conditions, it is necessary that these consequences are better understood to enable societal responses and actions.”
The group calls attention to the fact that millions of species of plants and animals are at the brink of extinction mainly due to human activities. The group adds that deforestation, overhunting/overfishing, oil pollution, genetic modification of crops/excessive use of toxic chemicals are some of activities which threaten biodiversity.
The erosion of biodiversity will have serious implication on food production and ecosystems resilience, HOMEF noted, adding that consequences of biodiversity loss also include the emergence and spread of diseases such as COVID-19 among humans.
To preserve biodiversity, the team of young environmentalists and ecological defenders under the auspices of HOMEF call on governments, private sector and the general public to collectively make efforts to preserve biodiversity.
The team outlined the following as some of the ways we must protect biodiversity:
- We must shift from the mindset of competition that entrenches the harms done to the environment while in pursuit economic growth.
- We need to work in harmony with nature instead of against it.
- We should leave what is in the wild in the wild and desist from over consumption.
- We should stop pollution and learn to live sustainably with respect for natural laws and cycles.
“Our government needs to make and implement laws to protect endangered species. We should focus on eco-friendly approaches to global challenges including those of food and climate change. It is time to respect the integrity of our biodiversity and thus ward off intrusion of viruses such as the new coronavirus. A healthy biodiversity supports a healthy population,” HOMEF declared.