Our Biodiversity, our food, our health (World Biodiversity day, May 22, 2020)
Nature as a healer and nature as a slayer. Nature heals itself and helps to keep infirmities away from humans. But human interference with nature has altered the natural DNA to a slayer. Clean air is scarce, trees that should help in absorbing CO2 are disappearing, animals are displaced for housing and road for humans without alternative provisions, and water bodies are polluted with plastics and chemicals. All thanks to the ingenuity of humans to conquer all.
Endangered species should now include humans and this is wrought upon us by our actions. The protective garment of nature for humans have been severed and any outbreak is more likely to affect more people now than before. This year’s team for the International day for Biodiversity captures the challenges humans face in the biosphere. Natural food is scarce and we rely on processed food that is not adequately supportive to health.
The natural environment that should help in absorbing bad air and diseases has abandoned humans to their fate. No matter how humans try to modify things with science, neglecting to plant trees and adequate care of the environment will boomerang. You cannot solve that with big data and AI, unless you employ AI to plant trees and curtail pollution. In this time of COVID-19, carbon emission has dropped and the natural ingredients are rejuvenating; air is cleaner and trees and animals enjoy their natural habitat. Again, humans have to look for solutions to the pandemic in nature. “Loss of biodiversity threatens all, including our health. It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonoses - diseases transmitted from animals to humans- while, on the other hand, if we keep biodiversity intact, it offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses.” (UN Secretary-General António Guterres). Herbs and other natural ingredients are capable of healing us from infirmities.
But humans need to take care of nature to be able to find the right herbs. OUR SOLUTIONS ARE IN NATURE. The pandemic has taught us that we can do things differently for our own good. We can do without many things and we can find sustainable alternatives. We need plants and animals for a healthy ecosystem and as we mark the international day for biodiversity with the team “Our Biodiversity, our food, our health,” let’s rethink our actions, reduce deforestation, plant more trees and remember that humans are stewards for nature.