We Can Save Mother Nature: How You Can Achieve SDG 15
Updated: May 30
The drastic change in weather patterns over the past several years is a cause for concern for many. With extreme weather events like heatwaves, hurricanes, wildfires, and floods becoming more frequent and severe, it's clear that urgent action is needed to address the impacts of climate change.
This year's World Wildlife Day, observed every March 3rd, is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the world's wildlife, which is increasingly threatened by the changing climate. If nothing is done, we may have to find another planet to live on and I’m sure most of us won't be able to relocate to Mars when Earth becomes too hot to live on. The good news is that we can all play a part in addressing climate change, by following the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) developed by the United Nations.
These SDGs provide a blueprint for creating a better future for us and future generations, and SDG 15 in particular focuses on stopping and reversing land damage and biodiversity (wildlife) loss. In this article, we will explore how we can all contribute to achieving SDG 15.
SDG 15 focuses on stopping and reversing land damage and biodiversity loss, as well as protecting, restoring, and promoting the sustainable use of land-dwelling ecosystems. A healthy world and a sustainable future for the next generation depend on achieving this objective.
Although a large feat and pertinent goal, the implementation of SDG 15 is possible, and here are some examples of how we might implement SDG 15's ideals in our environment:
Preserve and rehabilitate forests:
Due to their role in regulating the climate, absorbing carbon dioxide, and serving as a habitat for species, forests are essential to the sustainability of our world. We can support sustainable forestry methods, utilize wood products sensibly, and stay away from things like palm oil if we want to maintain and restore forests.
Encourage sustainable agriculture:
Agriculture is a significant contributor to biodiversity loss and land degradation, but it is also crucial for feeding the world's population. We can help farmers who employ regenerative agricultural methods, such as crop rotation and soil conservation, and who minimize food waste to advance sustainable agriculture. In addition to supporting farmers who employ regenerative agricultural methods, we can also support local farmers by buying their produce. By purchasing food from local farmers, we can help to reduce the environmental impact of transportation, support local economies, and promote sustainable agriculture practices. Additionally, supporting local farmers can help to preserve local food traditions and increase access to fresh, healthy foods for communities.
Preserve and restore wetlands:
Wetlands are areas of land where the soil is covered by water, either seasonally or permanently. They can be found in a variety of locations, including coastal regions, river basins, and in areas with high levels of rainfall. Wetlands come in many different forms, such as marshes, swamps, bogs, and fens, and are important because they provide numerous benefits to both people and wildlife. For example, wetlands can act as natural water filters, removing pollutants and improving the quality of the water that flows through them. They also provide habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal species, many of which are unique to wetland environments.
In addition, wetlands play an important role in regulating the Earth's climate. They can store large amounts of carbon, which helps to mitigate the effects of climate change. Wetlands also provide flood control by absorbing excess water during times of heavy rain or flooding.
Given their importance, it is critical that we work to preserve and restore wetlands. This means avoiding activities that damage or destroy wetlands, such as draining or filling them. It also means supporting wetland restoration efforts, which can involve re-establishing lost wetland habitat or improving the quality of existing wetlands. Finally, we must work to protect wetlands from contamination, which can occur when pollutants from human activities are discharged into wetland ecosystems.
Preserve species and their habitats:
Although the loss of our planet's biodiversity poses a serious threat to its health, we can still take action to preserve wildlife and its natural environment. Supporting protected areas, reducing habitat fragmentation, and avoiding goods that encourage animal trafficking are all ways we can help. In preserving species and their habitats, you can;
1. Support protected areas
Protected areas are places where wildlife and their habitats are conserved and managed for the long term. As individuals, we can support protected areas by visiting them, donating to conservation organizations that manage them, and advocating for their protection and expansion.
2. Reduce habitat fragmentation
Habitat fragmentation occurs when natural habitats are divided into smaller, isolated fragments. This can lead to a loss of biodiversity and reduced habitat quality for many species. As individuals, we can reduce habitat fragmentation by supporting land use practices that minimize disturbance to natural areas, such as avoiding development in critical wildlife habitats or creating wildlife corridors to connect fragmented habitats.
3. Avoid goods that encourage animal trafficking
Illegal wildlife trafficking is a major threat to many species, and it is driven by the demand for products made from animal parts, such as ivory or rhino horn. As individuals, we can avoid purchasing products made from endangered species, and we can also support organizations that work to combat wildlife trafficking.
Overall, preserving species and their habitats requires a concerted effort from individuals, organizations, and governments around the world. However, by taking action in our own lives and supporting conservation initiatives, we can all play a role in protecting the planet's biodiversity.
Decrease our environmental footprint:
In the end, fulfilling SDG 15 necessitates that we do just that. The following are some ways we can achieve this in our immediate environments:
1. Consuming less
One way to decrease our environmental footprint is to consume less. This means reducing the amount of energy, water, and natural resources we use by, for example, turning off lights when not in use, taking shorter showers, and using public transportation instead of driving alone.
2. Recycling more
Recycling is an important way to reduce waste and conserve resources. By recycling items like paper, plastic, and aluminum cans, we can reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, conserve natural resources, and reduce pollution.
Composting is a way to turn food and yard waste into nutrient-rich soil that can be used to support plant growth. By composting, we can reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, improve soil quality, and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers.
4. Selecting sustainable goods and services
When making purchasing decisions, we can choose goods and services that are sustainable and ethically produced. This means selecting products that are made from environmentally-friendly materials, produced using sustainable practices, and designed to be reused or recycled.
In conclusion, applying the principles of SDG 15 in our environment requires collective efforts and actions. By preserving and rehabilitating forests, species, and their habitats, and reducing our environmental footprint, we can secure a sustainable future for ourselves, the wildlife we coexist with, and generations to come.
DO EVEN MORE
Watch this informative playlist created in celebration of World Wildlife Day 2023, which demonstrates how we can create partnerships for wildlife conservation.
It starts with the simplest things! We can all contribute to saving and protecting wildlife. Check out what YOU can do now to protect wildlife.
Watch Our Planet on Netflix which explores the beauty of our planet and the impact of climate change on it.
Watch Wild Babies on Netflix
Read this article again to learn actionable steps you can take to achieve SDG 15!
Read more about World Wildlife Day
8 essential reads on bio-diversity from the World Economic Forum
WRITTEN BY Anam Umanah
Anam is a tech enthusiast, a basketball fanatic, and a passionate cook. He currently works at a bank as a fraud analyst, where he is always seeking out new ways to incorporate the latest technologies into our daily operations. When he is not at work, you can usually find him in the kitchen, experimenting with new recipes and cooking up a storm. Basketball has been a passion of his since he was a child, and he loves following his favorite teams and players. With his diverse range of interests and talents, he is always up for a new challenge and eager to continue learning and growing in all areas of his life.
EDITED BY Chizulu Uwolloh.
'Zulu is a writer, self-proclaimed bibliophile, lawyer, and international development professional passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities. She is also the founder of Kurerie, a digital platform, and community that amplifies the voices of youth making an impact in their communities. Kurerie educates young people on how they can become active stakeholders in the achievement of the SDGs. She is passionate about showing young people that they can change the world with the smallest actions.
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