The incredible importance of indigenous wild plants, especially of wild flowers, is not very well understood by members of the general population who simply take for granted that wild flowers will always be a basic and integral part of the environment but, very sadly indeed, they could not be more wrong!
As the already huge population of the country continues to expand at an alarming rate, so too does the pressure on the environment as a whole and the long-term sustainability of the countryside — be this arid desert land, fertile plains or high mountains and forested regions — comes under concerted pressure and our wild plants, of all descriptions, suffer dreadfully.
They are bulldozed, burnt, lost to stone quarrying, destroyed by human habitat expansion, by agricultural expansion and the use of toxic chemical interventions on crops, poisoned by industrial waste and effluent, illegal cutting of trees and a whole host of other destructive issues.As this ‘ecocide’ — this means destruction of the environment — runs amok, associated destruction of plant life also means that wild animals, birds, insects, butterflies and aquatic life is adversely affected too and the natural balance of our world is dangerously knocked askew. No or few wild flowers, for instance, means that honeybees have much less food, so they produce much less honey and this, in turn and especially when looked at in conjunction with rapidly changing climatic conditions, means fewer bees. Now this might not sound like a ‘no big deal’ to some people but, without bees to pollinate an extensive range of food crops, both cultivated and wild ones, food production will decline.
Actually, food production is already suffering adversely from the effects of climate change which has drastically altered traditional weather patterns so if the number of bees decline too then the knock on effect on human dietary needs will be difficult to deal with, especially for poor people who largely depend on fruit, vegetables and grains for their basic food requirements.
Every time a new housing development comes up, for example, more and more wild plants disappear and bee numbers plummet, yet no one really seems to either understand the connection or perhaps they just do not really care which, if you know what the end results are liable to be — hunger — is more than a little shortsighted.
It is up to you, the adults of tomorrow and the caretakers of planetary future, to learn about and try to change all the things that are rapidly destroying Earth, where we all live and, in doing so in a peaceful manner, help to maintain all interdependent forms of life for the good of all.