Bangladesh suffered widespread damage as a result of Cyclone Amphan. Yet the Sundarbans mangrove forest acted as a natural barrier protecting the country from further destruction, as it has done countless times before.
5 environmental challenges to be faced with sustainable behaviours
Here are the top 5 most important environmental challenges for sustainability that only those who adopt sustainable behaviours can face.
All human activities have a negative impact on the Earth. We consume more resources than the Planet can offer. To meet the increasing demand of raw materials, we damage the ecosystems with intensive and polluting practices. The future of human beings depends on the decisions the society and governments are making now. These decisions are also influenced by the daily choices of every single person.
To tackle the Earth’s problems, all men and women have to commit themselves to protect the world natural heritage. Conscious societies should use technology, innovations and cooperation to change the development trend towards a sustainable growth respectful of the environment.
The UN declared 17th June World Day to Combat Desertification to promote public awareness on climate change through some practices to contain soil drying up. Desertification can be tackled by choosing food products from sustainable agriculture, i.e. from those regions of the world where the land is not cultivated intensively or with one-crop systems, which are harmful to the soil, aquifers and can cause deforestation. Farming practices based on circular economy, i.e. those that return the nutrients used during the farming process to the land and organic farming should replace industrialised mass production. Being aware of the environmental impact of the food we eat and reading food labels is necessary to fight the spread of environmentally damaging practices every day.
Soil exploitation and overbuilding
The concrete is harmful to the land. Because of human activities including pulluting farming practices, soil contamination, building and infrastructure construction, farming soils are damaged and impervious. All of us can limit the effects of soil exploitation. For example, by not buying a new house, thus avoiding to incentivise the urbanisation of farming or natural fields. Restoring an already existing house, according to current regulations on energy efficiency, has a lower environmental impact on the soil and subsoil than buying a new one.
One-third of all food produced worldwide is wasted: a part is lost during the processing, a part is thrown away by consumers. 1.3 billion tonnes of edible food is wasted annually. It is necessary to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, respectful of the resources the Planet gives us in order to face poverty and food insecurity. Buying the appropriate amount of food products for the family members, using leftovers to prepare new meals, choosing supermarkets that donate the food about to go bad are a few solution to the problem. France chose to oblige supermarkets to donate the food about to go bad to non-profit organisations.
Loss of biodiversity
To protect biodiversity it is important to know that there are thousands of plant species that can be cultivated in a sustainable way. Respecting biodiversity also means choosing and recognising seasonal fruits and vegetables. That’s why reading up on food properties, on the way in which they were produced and making sure that they are all from a short supply chain is so important. Another way to protect biodiversity is getting to know and support national parks and reserves.
The means of transport we use in our everyday journeys are one of the major causes of air pollution and CO2 emissions. Opting for a sustainable way of moving and choosing to meet the energy demand through innovative technologies powered by clean energy is one of the first things aware people should do. Fossil fuels are things of the past. As for mobility, these polluting sources have been replaced by the hybrid and the more innovative hydrogen technology in public transports as well as private vehicles. If the scarcity of refuelling stations prevented the spread of cars fuelled with alternative sources, the development of smart grids, the network of electricity and hydrogen supply, is the most appropriate solution towards sustainable mobility.
A historic win for the Ashaninka of Brazil as they receive compensation for deforestation on their land
On top of a 2.4 million dollar compensation, the indigenous Ashaninka people will receive an official apology from the companies who deforested their lands in the 1980s.
The tapir was reintroduced into Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, the country’s most at-risk ecosystem. The species can play a key role in the forest’s recovery.
Forests are home to 80 per cent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. This year’s International Day of Forests highlights the urgent changes needed to save them.
After a legal battle that lasted two years, Indonesia’s Supreme Court has revoked the permit to mine for coal in the forests of South Kalimantan in Borneo.
The list of human and animal victims of the Australia wildfires keeps growing – one species might already have gone extinct – as the smoke even reaches South America.
Areas where the FARC guerrilla used to hold power in Colombia have faced record deforestation. Farmers cut down trees, burn land and plant grass for cows. Because, “what else can we do for a living here in the Colombian Amazon”? An intimate report from the heart of the felled forest in Caquetá.
Refusing the anthropocentric vision and respecting the laws of ecology is the only way to safeguard the future of our and all other species, Sea Shepherd President Paul Watson argues in this op-ed.
The 2019 edition of International Mountain Day is “Mountains matter for youth”, highlighting the need to bring young people back to highland areas to take care of their cultural and natural resources.