Today Nature Conservation Day is celebrated all over the world with the aim of spreading awareness about nature conservation and biodiversity. Flora, fauna, soil, air and water are indispensable elements for our survival, which we often tend to take for granted and regard as abstract elements, separate and distant from us.
Dedicating a specific day to this issue is meaningful, but to make a real difference it should be kept in mind and perpetuated every day. In fact, the data we have available in this regard are not at all encouraging. We can cite the WWF Extinctions Report(2021), thanks to which we know that the impact of mankind has extremely accelerated natural loss: because of us, unfortunately, animal and plant species are disappearing at 1,000 times the natural rate.
The IPCC Report (the UN Scientific Panel on Climate Change), on the other hand, raises the alarm about the consequences of climate change on nature and mankind: droughts and extreme heat, destruction of ecosystems, increasingly strong storms and massive flooding, and extinction of species. Biodiversity, meaning the variety of life on Earth, including organisms, ecosystems and the ecological processes that sustain them, has a fundamental function because it helps counter climate change, clean air and pollinate crops. The disappearance of a single species can have a huge impact on the entire food chain.
World Conservation Day was created precisely to spread this awareness and to promote collective action to preserve the environment for future generations. Sustainability should now be a key word in nature conservation: a responsible approach to the use of natural resources and reducing the impact of our activities on the environment should be the norm. The transition to a green economy, the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and the use of renewable energy are actions we can take to promote this. We should also remember the spread of eco-design practices that are concerned with minimising the environmental impact of products and human processes.
It is important that politicians and companies do their part, but we must not forget that it is up to each one of us to celebrate this day because even small actions, repeated over time, can make a big difference. In days like these, when the environment is sending us its signals louder than ever, it is important to take responsibility, no matter how insignificant they may seem: travel by bicycle or public transport, buy organic and zero-mile products that are good for you and the environment, choose bulk products without plastic packaging and try to recycle your used clothes. Invent your own way to make a contribution and involve those around you, spreading awareness.
Every small gesture is the greatest gift we can give ourselves and our future.