Around the world, large areas of biodiversity conservation lands are owned by indigenous peoples and local communities. Besides ancestral ties, these people depend on these forests, fisheries and wildlife for their livelihoods and culture. They are deeply rooted in their environment. What affects the eco-system, affects the community.
Imagine the state of nature if we, like the indigenous communities, were as deeply rooted in it! What we don’t realise is that we do own a piece of this planet. We are the stewards of this Earth and must start holding ourselves accountable.
Just think of how forests have affected your life today: Have you eaten breakfast? Read a newspaper? Blown your nose into a tissue? All the above activities directly or indirectly involve forests. Some are easy to figure out – fruits, paper and wood from trees. Others are less obvious: by-products that go into medicine, detergent, etc.
Over the past 50 years, about half the world’s original forest cover has been lost. The most significant cause is man’s unsystematic use of its resources. Forests have been converted to make way for oil palm and soy plantations, roads and other infrastructure. Fires and illegal logging also contribute to the 12 to 15 million hectares of forests destroyed every year.
Ask yourself whether you really need to purchase that timber or paper product. And if you have to, ask whether it has recycled content or if it comes with an eco-certification such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which assures that it is sourced from well-managed forests.
Follow the Golden Rule: think before you print and use both sides of the paper. You’ll be surprised how much paper we all can save just by these simple actions.
For centuries, people looked to the oceans as an inexhaustible supply of food, a useful transport route, and a convenient dumping ground – simply too vast to be affected by anything we do. Until now . . .
Poorly managed fishing has resulted in 76 percent of the world’s fisheries being fully exploited or overfished. Each year billions of unwanted fish and other animals die from these inefficient, illegal, and destructive fishing practices. How can we save such a precious resource?
By consuming seafood in moderation and choosing only seafood that comes from sustainable fisheries. There are several seafood guides available that not only list the types of seafood harvested in a responsible way, but also those to avoid due to the declining populations in the wild. Your consumer-led choice could possibly encourage more fisheries to change their practices to make way for healthier oceans.
Today we are seeing the impact of climate change around the globe – melting glaciers, rising sea levels, stronger storms, higher floods, less snow north and more droughts south. The main cause of climate change is the unlimited burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas to satisfy our hunger for energy. We are releasing the carbon dioxide from the fossil fuels at an ever-increasing rate and in turn making the Earth warmer.
Thanks to human ingenuity, there are smarter ways of making energy from renewable sources such as the sun, wind and ocean waves. Where such renewable energy options are available in your country, use it! If you start, many more will follow. And as far as possible, cut out non-essential lighting and electricity usage. If you really have to, use energy-efficient lighting or electrical appliances.
Are these measures too little, too late? Perhaps. But we’ll never know until we try. For the past five decades, WWF has been collaborating with the indigenous peoples – the original stewards of the Earth – to protect their environments and homes.
And now, WWF is looking to build stronger partnerships with the next generation of stewards. As responsible sojourners during our time on Earth, we owe it to our children to give them a home worth inheriting. So won’t you join hands with us on this?
3 of 6 Comments
|Dr. Mubarak on 18 March 2012 ,23:16 |
I entirely agree that this commitment to the land is deeply rooted in the lives of the "sons of land' or native people, and not easily understood by immigrant populations or those living in cities around the world.
|archana singh on 01 May 2011 ,23:42 |
Yes! its right.we are affecting the livelihood of the people one who are dependent on forests and sea.we should reduce the wastage of things which are easily available but difficult to make.such as tissue and paper easily available but need a tree to make.so be aware stop wastage use recycled products.
|leemeowleng on 12 April 2011 ,10:13 |
This involves a lot of people, whoever is aware, if he or she does his or her part, however small it is, it will definitely help to save the earth.
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