We heard rumours yesterday that another 7 rhinos were poached in the Kruger National Park over the weekend. We all feel outraged, and so we should. These rhinos are our national treasure which we conserved when all other countries where rhinos occurred in the past killed all theirs. We try to educate our children that we need to conserve our biodiversity, especially iconic animals such as the rhino. But the rhino is really just a very visible symbol of the importance of all species that make up the biodiversity in our country, both fauna and flora. Everything is interconnected and the loss of one species affects the whole eco-system in which it has evolved.
Conservation of habitat is probably one of the most important tasks of an organisation such as Whale Coast Conservation. Most of what we do eventually comes down to conserving a healthy natural environment. Increasingly we are starting to realise the value of the ecosystems services that we derive from the natural environment.
As the wold population grows and people are continuing to live consumer-orientated lives (after all, economies depend on increasing consumption) we are using up the earth’s resources at a pace that cannot be sustained. Already we are said to be using 150% of the earth’s capacity – we are ‘running on empty’. To sustain this level of development and the aspirations of billions more people to live in the same style, the natural environment is under increasing pressure for food production, mineral resources, energy production, to mention but a few.
It’s not a matter of ‘saving the planet’. The idea is to conserve the things that we as people need to survive on this planet. The planet has done just fine for nearly 14 billion years and will continue to do so long after mankind has gone – as a result of having been so ‘fatally successful’.