By Anita M Kulkarni Nabonne
Wherever the need is on this globe, vast battles are being fought every hour of every day. Monumental challenges are being met and victories gained to overcome the dereliction of our care and duty to the many species we temporarily are privileged to enjoy, and to the only home we have. We ill treat them both, and just like the garbage that is slowly defining our seas – it is coming to back to haunt us.
More and more states in the U.S. will follow suit enforcing a Styrofoam ban. It is estimated that before long there will be more plastic than fish in our waters.
We have at our disposal some fantastic and often beleaguered organisations to help guide us; Greenpeace, WWF, Friends of the Earth to name only three. We have sanctuaries and nature reserves and fights for animal welfare and their rights in most countries. They need our support, and in huge numbers from people everywhere – no matter how busy, or how poor. A loud voice is vital and forms the pulse of the throbbing masses that could help if we put our minds to it – wherever we happen to be. If we all took the time to look, so much more could be won.
Today with the advent of social media we have very little excuse. It takes approximately 30 seconds to sign a petition…30 seconds – probably less time than it takes to shoot and kill a couple of tigers, lions, elephants and rhinos. Signing up for a march to highlight climate change and the plight of an animal would take less time than it takes to remove the tusks of two of the much hunted icons of this planet…and to dump another ton of plastic into the sea that kills a lot of marine life. Between that and the menace of fishing nets they have very little chance.
Sound gruesome? That is life today for many of the diverse inhabitants trying to survive despite us. These vulnerable creatures, who share this planet with us, are not ours to dispose of, or to butcher and trade. Just as we inherit them we must ensure their peace and survival by fighting for them and also for their part in our children’s heritage.
Join an organisation, be a voice. Organised groups and marches do make a difference. Sign petitions, write to your government. Slowly but surely, small pictures become larger pictures – action becomes change.
The situation on the ground remains dire. Elephants and rhinos remain in poachers’ crosshairs. Sharks and rays are illegally targeted in the Pacific… there is so much we can do. We need endless action against countries and governments alike, and ones like this:
Wildlife is no longer considered by the South African government to be a national heritage, but rather is viewed as a natural resource to be exploited.
But there are increasing glimmers of hope –
Hong Kong is considered the world’s largest retail market for ivory – an estimated 16.7 tons of ivory have been confiscated in Hong Kong in the last three years. New announcements were hailed as the final legislative nail in the ivory coffin, and conservationists are hoping it will result in the total elimination of trade in the city.
Working with governments has seen enforced bans on ivory trade. It is resulting in an increasing emphasis on shaming, and with that we reduce consumer demand for illegal animal products. Hopefully if we press, more will happen until we have won.
In recent years high-profile publicity campaigns and increased law enforcement have resulted in decreasing ivory prices, perhaps pointing to a market that is at the end of its lifespan.
‘Freed Aquarium Dolphin Spotted With Baby in the Wild. Sampal’s calf, seen in the waters off Jeju, South Korea, suggests reintroduced dolphins can go on to lead healthy lives, experts say.’
The WWF has evolved from saving species and landscapes to addressing the larger global threats and forces that impact them, they have made significant progress and achieved ambitious goals in six key areas: forests, oceans, freshwater, wildlife, food and climate.
Friends of the Earth win some outstanding battles – from keeping fossil fuels in the ground to protecting precious wildlife and nature sites. Victories loom in sunlight for the bees – vital to sustaining life. One recent campaign of free packets of wildflower seeds, enough for a small area of wildflowers in every garden will have a huge impact in that particular fight.
Governments signing climate change agreements is a leap in the right direction. We as individual nations must do our part, but it is there for the taking. At the moment, the world’s governments’ promises put us on course for a global temperature rise of over 3 degrees. That’s catastrophic climate change.
The Paris agreement commits world leaders to holding the temperature rise to well under 2 degrees and to “pursue efforts” to keep it to 1.5 degrees.
The initial, Nobel Prize winning discovery that ozone depleting chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) – carried in refrigerants, spray cans, foams and other substances – could damage the stratospheric layer that protects us from ultraviolet solar radiation (and thus, skin cancer) came in 1974. It wasn’t until a vast seasonal ozone “hole” over Antarctica in 1985 that the world was shocked into action.
‘Today that patient — the Earth’s vital ozone layer — is getting better directly because of our choices and policies.’
Whether it is the fight to safeguard and preserve precious land and sanctuaries, advocating renewable energy or disbanding armies and trafficking, to stopping the escalation of the suffering of our most endangered species – it is time to banish age old customs and traditions. It is time to help fight in these wars of savage cruelty and greed.
We are the young and the educated. We are the future. The fight is being fought and it could be won that much sooner if we all got involved.
Let us make this another kind of man made extinction, and one that we can live with. Join in TODAY! Make this a better world directly because of our choices and policies.
Read more from Anita at her own blogspace