At Laybakpak we enjoy the experience of getting out into the great outdoors and connecting with the natural world. I’ve written more about this in my blog post, the great outdoors and nature.
Unfortunately, in terms of the variety of wildlife (or biodiversity as the scientists call it), for those of us who live in the UK, our countryside is one of the most impoverished in the world.
Effect of Population Growth
Today there are over 7 billion people on earth. In 1800 there were 1 million. So in about 200 years the human population has exploded.
On the biological level humans are simply another species of animal living amongst thousands of other species. Like any other species we need some fundamental basics in order to survive:
Food,water and somewhere to live.
As our population has grown so has our need for all these things. Unfortunately they are all in limited supply. In order to meet our own needs, we have taken much of the habitat of other species. For many animals, this has led to a decline in numbers. Some of the headline examples are lions, tigers, elephants and rhinos. However there are many others including animals and plants in our own country.
So I suppose the question is: ‘Eventually will the human population be so large that it displaces all other large animals?’
I dread this possibility because the natural world and our enjoyment of it would be much reduced.
But we humans are extremely intelligent, right? So we would never allow this to happen. Unfortunately it is happening. But the good news is that many people are speaking up for nature, working hard to protect it and taking the rest of us along in the process.
Protecting and Conserving the Natural World
Our population is predicted by many to increase to 10 billion within a few decades. Yet the reality is that we could still co exist successfully with other species and enhance the quality of our own lives in doing so.
One proposal is to ‘re wild’ areas of the world and leave them to nature to thrive. Of course this would be easier in large countries with low population densities. Russia is a leader in this area with 174 million acres of protected wildlife zones.
Areas protected could and should include large areas on both land and in the seas.
Another theme championed by leading conservationists is to link nature reserves by corridors to allow the free movement of animals between them. This helps to preserve genetic diversity, keeping animal populations healthy.
Supporting Wildlife Trusts
In the UK, working on our behalf to preserve the natural world, we have our Wildlife Trusts. Every county has one. Over time, often through the generous legacies of supporters, they have increased the area given over to nature.
Being a member of your local Wildlife Trust only costs a small amount. It comes with magazines and other literature; access to guided walks, talks, presentations and the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to protect the natural world for future generations.
If you have kids you will find that they love being outside, walking through wild areas and seeing exciting animals and plants, with the added bonus that it hardly costs anything.
So at Laybakpak we encourage you to join your local Wildlife Trust in the New Year and help to make a difference.
I will finish with a quote by the model and conservation advocate Lily Cole: ‘I increasingly fell in love with nature. Climate change and conservation have emerged as the biggest issues for me. They underlie everything else, including our very existence. We have a beautiful planet that deserves our care’. I’ll second that.