World Wildlife Day
A global sustainability challenge
The wellbeing of present and future generations is at risk due to a range of interconnected emergencies, including climate change and biodiversity loss. Biodiversity is essential for society, as it provides the foundation for ecosystem functions that are vital to our health and wellbeing. Given the inextricable link between biodiversity and climate change, it is crucial that we grasp how biodiversity interacts with human systems to secure our future.
World Wildlife Day celebrates the indispensable contributions given by wild animals and plants to our lives and the planet and is also an opportunity to call for accelerated action to change our ‘business-as-usual’ trajectory. Such a shift can only be achieved by delivering transformational changes to processes in supply and consumption; some examples of this include the changes in the way we produce and consume, economic and financial systems and technological innovation1.
The value of nature has been increasingly recognised as the concept of ecosystem services to describe its benefits. Although it is difficult to summarise the multiple advantages provided by wildlife or ecosystems, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment MA identified four major categories2:
- Provisional Services: Benefits to people that can be extracted from nature
- Regulating Services: Processes that moderate natural phenomena such as pollination and decomposition
- Cultural Services: Creativity from interaction with nature
- Supporting Services: Natural processes such as photosynthesis and nutrient cycling
Despite the indispensable value of wildlife and nature, we face unprecedented extinction rates. Over 1 million species are at risk of extinction which is the greatest number in human history. The abundance of natural species in land-based habitats has fallen by 20% and 50% of the world’s coral reefs are destroyed3. While more than half of the global GDP relies on natural ecosystem services, this loss of biodiversity and functionality poses a threat to our economic and development systems, particularly during a climate crisis.
In line with global efforts, as a sustainability consultancy Simply Sustainable is constantly encouraging our clients to act, as well as helping them to visualise opportunities to protect critical ecosystems that they and the world depend on. We achieve this by ensuring a correct assessment of, and report on, our client’s dependency and impacts on biodiversity and the environment in order to halve negative impacts and increase positive impacts.
Every member of our team is passionate about the delicate balance we share with the planet’s ecosystem. It’s why we all come to work determined to make a positive change every day.
Author: Camila Gaitan Segura, Graduate Consultant at Simply Sustainable
- Almond, R., Grooten, M. & Juffe , B., 2022. Living plant report 2022, Gland, Switzerland.: WWG.
- The National Wildlife Federation, 2008. Ecosystem Services. nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Understanding-Conservation/Ecosystem-Services
- United Nations, 2022. UN Report: Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’. un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/05/nature-decline-unprecedented-report
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