22 September 2012 marked the third Annual World Rhino Day. Many of you may have heard about it, but some of you may not have. One thing for sure is that we have all heard about the plight of the rhino at some point. Having grown up in South Africa during the ’80s and ’90s, I hold rhino conservation very close to my heart. At least once a week the news would break that a poacher ring had been dismantled by force.
Many of us as children and as adults have sat in fields and listened blissfully to the cacophony of birdsong emanating from the hedgerows and woods. Every now and then while trampling through the undergrowth, you would scare up a partridge from its hiding place or discover a nest filled with strangely coloured eggs.
On 7 June 2011, the UK government published ‘The Natural Choice’ – a white paper that outlines how the natural environment is going to be protected, restored and improved over the next 50 years.
With spring here in full force and Earth Day having just passed, I thought it would be a good time to share some simple ideas to help take some pressure off the environment. Our membership of the WWF helps remind us and our Members that there are many ways that we can protect the planet.
The United Kingdom was once covered in forests. As time passed, most forest was felled. It was used for everything from constructing what are now great cities to building the ships that helped expand the British Empire.
A recent report made to Parliament by the UK’s Committee on Climate Change indicated that greenhouse gas emissions fell by 8.9% in 2009. However, this was due to a reduction in economic activity caused by the recession and increases in fossil fuel/energy prices, rather than to the implementation of good measures.
Following a disastrous explosion on an oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on the 20 April 2010, 11 workers tragically lost their lives and a further 17 people were injured. Before we even begin to analyse the legal implications of this disaster, it is important that we spare our thoughts for the friends and families of these unfortunate employees.
WWF’s One Planet Future campaign encourages us to change our lifestyles and think about better ways to dispose of our waste.
In the UK, most of the waste we produce ends up decomposing in landfill sites, producing greenhouse gases and contributing to climate change. You can help cut climate change by finding ways of reducing, reusing and recycling your waste.
If everyone in the world lived as we do in the UK, we would need three planets to support us. Our planet is buckling under the weight of the demands we are making on it. Over-consumption is leading directly to climate change and species extinctions.
Wildlife conservation isn’t just about the rainforests of Brazil or the jungles of the Amazon, it relates to our countryside too. There are many animals in Britain which are becoming endangered, such as certain species of owls and voles, as well as bumblebees, due to our changing lifestyles, garden makeovers and declining habitats.