Let’s invest our future in our planet

Let’s invest our future in our planet

Photo courtesy by planarth.sg

Last time we tackled the issue of climate change, soon after celebrating Earth Day on April 22, we said awareness of the problems and challenges should not be focused on just one day during the 365 or 366 days of the year.

It should be an everyday awareness from here on.

Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970 and was first observed in the United States when some 20 million people took to the streets to protest against the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill.

Since then, the occasion has played an important role in raising awareness of other environmental issues.

In fact, the landmark Paris Agreement, which was signed by nearly 200 countries to set a common target to reduce global greenhouse emissions, was signed on Earth Day in 2016.

According to earthday.org, the world’s largest recruiter of the environmental movement, the mission is to “diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide”.

In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22 as ‘International Mother Earth Day.’ It is celebrated as a reminder that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance.

Says the United Nations: “The healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet – and its people. Restoring our damaged ecosystems will help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction. But we will only succeed if everyone plays a part.”

What is the importance of Earth Day?

We have been seeing a spurt of climate events over the last decade or more that have affected millions of people, from extreme heat to wildfires and floods.

According to the United Nations, the coronavirus pandemic is also linked to the health of our ecosystem.

“Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversities, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture, and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can accelerate the speed of destruction of the planet,” the UN states.

This year, earthday.org has selected the theme, ‘Invest In Our Planet.’

Warning that time is short, the United Nations says: “This is the moment to change it all — the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate. Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods… together, we must ‘Invest In Our Planet’.”

Understandably, something is challenging our ecosystem, defined simply as a community or group of living organisms that live in and interact with each other in a specific environment.

For instance, tropical forests are ecosystems made up of living beings such as trees, plants, animals, insects, and micro-organisms that are in constant interaction between themselves and that are affected by other physical (sun, temperature) or chemical (oxygen or nutrients) components.

An ecosystem, say experts, is the basic unit of the field of the scientific study of nature.

According to this discipline, an ecosystem is a physically defined environment, made up of two inseparable components:

The biotope (abiotic): a particular physical environment with specific physical characteristics such as the climate, temperature, humidity, concentration of nutrients, or pH.

The biocenosis (biotic): a set of living organisms such as animals, plants, or micro-organisms, that are in constant interaction and are, therefore, in a situation of interdependence.

The concept of ecosystem is possible at several scales of magnitude. From multicellular organisms such as insects animals or plants to lakes, mountain ranges, or forests to the planet Earth as a whole.

While we are on the freshwater ecosystems topic, we must not forget that marine ecosystems are also part of the broader category of aquatic ecosystems.

Marine ecosystems cover more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and have a high salt content.

Some examples of marine ecosystems are offshore systems like the ocean surface, the deep sea, pelagic oceans, and the seafloor. But there are also nearshore systems like coral reefs, mangroves, or seagrass meadows.

Marine ecosystems can also be characterized following the abiotic and biotic dimensions.

In this way, its biotic components are organisms and their species, predators, parasites, and competitors. On the contrary, the concentration of nutrients, the temperature, sunlight, turbulence, salinity, and density are its abiotic components. (ai/mtvn)

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