Saving the planet

Published October 19, 2008

ALL life on the planet is interdependent and interconnected. Our collective survival depends on whether humans choose to live in sync with nature or to hurt it. Today the planet`s well-being is in clear and present danger, for ours has been a devastating impact on the earth and on all life that inhabits it. Not only have we ravaged entire ecosystems, we have also caused countless species to become extinct. At least 76 known mammals have disappeared since 1500. But this number pales in comparison to the findings of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List 2008, which reveals that half the world`s mammal species are declining in number, while a quarter of all mammals are now threatened with extinction. Of these, 188 mammals are in the most serious, or `critically endangered`, category. This is largely the result of habitat destruction and indiscriminate hunting. The impact of our activities is the same on other fauna and also flora. The diversity of biological life on this planet is rapidly diminishing.

Why the disappearance of even a single species is important is explained in the report “Extinction doesn`t just affect the species that disappears — it alters entire communities, changing both how the community as a whole and the individual species within it will respond to environmental degradation.” The good news is that conservation works. The Red List 2008 reports that five per cent of threatened species are now recovering as a result of protection efforts. This shows that it is not too late for the 99 threatened species currently struggling to survive in Pakistan (23 mammals, 27 birds, 10 reptiles, 22 fish, 15 other invertebrates and two plant species). But life on this planet is a web, and its strands are tightly connected. Conservation efforts will be pointless if we continue to poison the land, air and water. Microorganisms do not have the charismatic appeal of a tiger or a panda. But they are the delicate fibres from which the web of life is built. If they disappear, so will all other living things on this planet. It is time to wake up and make the connection.

Opinion

Editorial

Border clashes
19 May, 2024

Border clashes

THE Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier has witnessed another series of flare-ups, this time in the Kurram tribal district...
Penalising the dutiful
19 May, 2024

Penalising the dutiful

DOES the government feel no remorse in burdening honest citizens with the cost of its own ineptitude? With the ...
Students in Kyrgyzstan
Updated 19 May, 2024

Students in Kyrgyzstan

The govt ought to take a direct approach comprising convincing communication with the students and Kyrgyz authorities.
Ominous demands
Updated 18 May, 2024

Ominous demands

The federal government needs to boost its revenues to reduce future borrowing and pay back its existing debt.
Property leaks
18 May, 2024

Property leaks

THE leaked Dubai property data reported on by media organisations around the world earlier this week seems to have...
Heat warnings
18 May, 2024

Heat warnings

STARTING next week, the country must brace for brutal heatwaves. The NDMA warns of severe conditions with...