It's World Environment Day today - a day to celebrate the Earth and think about how we can become more aware and make more positive change in the world. It's the United Nation's biggest day for positive environmental action - a people's day of action.
Every day, of course, is a day to celebrate the earth, acknowledge what needs changing and think of positive ways we can contribute to this, but it is good to consciously come together to focus our attention, raise awareness about particular issues and celebrate our efforts so far.
IN 1972, the United Nations designated June 5th as World Environment Day to address major issues such as climate change, deforestation, species extinction, food and farming...and two years later was the first celebration with the theme of "Only One Earth".
The theme for 2016 is GO WILD FOR LIFE: Zero tolerance for the illegal wildlife trade
‘The booming illegal trade in wildlife products is eroding Earth’s precious biodiversity, robbing us of our natural heritage and driving whole species to the brink of extinction. The killing and smuggling is also undermining economies and ecoystems, fuelling organized crime, and feeding corruption and insecurity across the globe.
This year’s theme for WED – Go Wild for Life – encourages you to celebrate all those species under threat and take action of your own to help safeguard them for future generations. This can be about animals or plants that are threatened within your local area as well as at the national or global level - many local extinctions will eventually add up to a global extinction! Whoever you are, and wherever you live, show zero-tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife in word and deed, and make a difference.’
Taking a look into the theme of this World Environment Day brings some shocking truths out about illegal wildlife trading. For example:
• 100,000 elephants killed between 2010 and 2012!
• a huge 170 tonnes of ivory illegally exported from Africa from 2004 - 2014
• as of 2016, chimpanzees are now extinct (in several countries they used to exist)
• 3000 great apes lost from the wild each year
• almost 1200 rhinos killed by poachers in Africa in 2015
Thorough tests however show it has absolutely no medicinal qualities. Perhaps the myth all began with the belief in the power of the unicorn’s horn - and the rhino’s horn is kind-of similar to that. Rhino horn is mostly keratin, the same as all hooves, horns, hair and nails. It’s indigestible - it simply passes straight through you with no effect.
So, the upshot is, Rhinos are being killed for no good reason and the people suffering from illnesses are wasting their time and money. The only people benefitting from rhino horn are those profiting from its illegal trade.
You can read more about about the illegal trade of wildlife from the World Environment Day website: http://www.wed2016.com/content/itw-facts
What you can do on World Environment Day: Celebrate, Learn and Do
• Celebrate the Earth today (and everyday)
• Celebrate the positive action that is happening.
• Celebrate your capacity to 'be the change'
• Learn more about the impact of illegal trade on wildlife
• Learn about what people are doing to help already
• Learn what you can do to help locally and globally
• Do make a plan of what changes and contributions you can make
• Do it!
• Do share this others!
Be the change. Every action counts.
Hugh's New Homeschool Focus: Our Local Endangered Species - the Koala
Hugh is planning to research all he can about the local Koalas and find out what he can do to help them out of being Critically Endangered. We're all behind him for this project!
The Koala used to be found up and down the east coast of Australia in large numbers. However by 1925 with European colonisation, clearing, hunting for fur, fire and disease, the Koala was almost extinct. Apparently between 1919 and 1924 eight million koalas were killed across Australia - mostly hunted for fur. Now, the koala is mostly threatened by domestic dogs, vehicle traffic, but by far the biggest threat to the koala is habitat loss.
I wrote about Raymond Island and it's koala population earlier this year http://our-permaculture-life.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/koala-island.html
Maia's Homeschool Focus:
Pop Up Cafe to Support Endangered Species and Local Revegetation
This year Maia has already run a few cafes to support endangered species and local bush regeneration projects. She has been donating money to the efforts of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature. http://www.wwf.org.au. Hugh and Maia plan to collaborate for the next big community cafe to extend their efforts further. Read more about her pop-up cafes http://our-permaculture-life.blogspot.com.au/2016/02/pop-up-carport-cafe-cultivating.html and http://our-permaculture-life.blogspot.com.au/2016/03/two-youth-enterprises-cultivating.html
Crystal Waters - a wildlife haven
I feel proud to live at Crystal Waters, a place where we consciously celebrate Earth Care every day. This is a wildlife haven - registered as 'Land for Wildlife'. We purposefully don't have dogs or cats. Lots of connected bush regeneration projects are happening all over the property. Animals, cyclists and pedestrians have right of way on our roads.
Every day we are in direct connection with wildlife - it's one of the great joys of living here. We have watched as the diversity is restored to this once-degraded landscape, and how over the years the wildlife numbers and diversity has also increased.