Biodiversity is the impressive variety of forms that life takes around us. We use to think of it as the diversity of species, but it gets a bit more complex when experts talk about it. They look at biodiversity at different levels, like ADN, ecosystems, groups, cultural behavior… At a global scale it is a dense network of information and relationships that covers the whole Earth.
Life spent billions of years of evolution to create it; it is beautiful, awesome and irreplaceable. It is a treasure that does not belong to anybody, a legacy that was given to us. It is our due to hand it over to the next generations… Yes, those are grand words. They are common sense and still you probably had heard about the loss of biodiversity. The extinction rate is about 1.000 times the natural rate, the greatest extinction crisis since the dinosaurs… And it is caused by mankind.
What can we do about it?
The big answers sometimes could seem too far fetched, although there is nothing wrong with thinking big: the problem is actually huge! We must encourage forward thinking and political awareness. Luckily there are some people and organizations that are already working on it. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is one of those projects. They are collecting as many seeds as they can get and protect them under a mountain in a frozen, far away island.
Ok, but what can the rest of us do anyway? Actually there are many things that any of us could do that would help, though. The usual ecologic advice applies here: save water and energy, recycle, eat locally produced food… Wait a moment! urban growers already do most of these things with their cultures! Using hydroponics you save water, produce is truly local and no energy is wasted to transport it over long distances. So yes, just by growing at home you are helping the environment.
There is a way to go further though. Many people who are cultivating endangered species and so helping agricultural biodiversity and food security. I will write about this in a few days.
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