New Year’s resolutions for adventurous wildlife lovers…and for anyone that wants to secure a future for all life on Earth
The Living Planet Report 2018 issued few weeks ago by the World Wildlife Foundation shows that wildlife populations have dramatically shrunk by 60% globally between 1970 and 2014. This astonishing decline is the result of human negligence in protecting nature. Despite the fact that today we have the knowledge and means to redefine our relationship with the planet, our current efforts to stop the decline of the natural systems are not ambitious enough.
The fact that protecting nature is also inherently about protecting people has not been understood by everyone, despite a growing awareness that there cannot be a healthy, happy and prosperous future for people on a planet with a destabilised climate, depleted oceans and rivers, degraded land and empty forests. A gloomy scenario that should not deter us from acting, but instead spur us on to do better. In fact, as Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International says in the Living Planet Report foreword: “Today, we still have a choice. We can be the founders of a global movement that changed our relationship with the planet, that saw us secure a future for all life on Earth, including our own. Or we can be the generation that had its chance and failed to act; that let Earth slip away. The choice is ours. Together we can make it happen for nature and for people.”
How can we make a difference? When we launched the blog in April 2018, we had in mind that sharing our knowledge and understanding of sustainability-related challenges alone was not enough and that our objective was to also support the cultural change that will “secure a future for all life on Earth”. This is why we always try to suggest solutions and inspire action.
The first and obvious action that we suggest is to look at the list of the 12 WAYS TO FIGHT FOR YOUR WORLD that WWF wrote. Why not take the quiz to learn about how your living habits make up for your environmental footprint and find out how you can reduce it? Or what about asking your children’s school to sign up to the WWF classroom resources? The best way to start is to choose the action one that resonate more with you and the one that you feel confident you can easily implement.
The second one – definitely the more adventurous, but possibly a life-changing experience! – is to volunteer and experience real wildlife conservation by travelling to the farthest and lesser-visited destinations of the world. Wildlife Act offers WWF-supported wildlife volunteering opportunities in South Africa and the Seychelles. Conservation volunteering in Zululand, South Africa, is part of the Endangered Species Monitoring Programme. Wildlife Act was awarded as the Best for Habitat & Species Conservation in South Africa at the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2017 and it is the first wildlife volunteer programme in Africa to be Fair Trade Tourism certified. The Seychelles Conservation Project instead focuses on endangered species monitoring, marine conservation and ecosystem restoration. Both programmes start with a minimum of two weeks’ commitment. Another organisation that offers volunteering programmes is GoEco. GoEco has established programmes that span over a wider number of areas: from Wildlife and Animal Conservation to Community Aid and Development. In the area of conservation, for example, there is the possibility to join a fully dedicated team on a small island off the tropical island of Bali to help care for injured turtles until they are ready to be released into the sea, or you can volunteer to conserve the native lemur species on the beautiful island of Madagascar.