Every year on June 5th it is World Environment Day (WED). This year the theme is ‘ecosystem restoration’ and it is hosted by Pakistan. I love learning about ecosystems so I’m going to be sharing their benefits and how we rely on ecosystems.
This is one of the most important things that we rely on ecosystems for! There are so many cures for diseases that have been found in the rainforest or in coral reefs, for example, a lot of cancer medication was found from coral reefs. Everyone, at some point in their life, uses medicine and sadly most of us have experienced a loved one die from a disease. Plants have so much potential for future medicines!
Ecosystems support so many pollinators with their variety of plant and flower life. We need bees to survive which is why it is so important to plant wildflower seeds and to try and attract garden wildlife.
Plants use their roots to keep rocks and soil together. They only need a small gap in order to bury their roots which keeps rocks in place to reduce cliff erosion. As well as this, plants like crops in soil are good for reducing soil erosion which prevents landslides. Coral reefs, mangroves and wetlands protect the coast from storm erosion.
Being outdoors in nature always helps to improve my mental health. I love taking photos of pretty flowers and recently I’ve been wanting to learn all of their names – something I’m going to do more of over the summer! I’ve been outside a lot recently which has definitely helped how I’m feeling. Sometimes it’s so nice to sit in the garden when revising or sitting by a tree and just watching the world. I’m currently doing the 30 days wild challenge which was created by The Wildlife Trusts.
Reduction in flooding
Having lots of trees and plants is good to reduce flooding because the water drops onto them and will soak into the soil. They intercept the water so that it runs down the leaves and trunk rather than sitting on the concrete.
The rainforest alone provides so much food for us like bananas and coffee, as well as wood and silk! We all definitely underappreciate how much we rely on ecosystems services. We abuse a lot of the resources, for example, palm oil is in most things and most furniture is from trees that have been chopped down specifically for making tables etc. Toilet roll, kitchen roll and tissues are obviously from trees but I think they are sometimes forgotten. The tissues that I use are made from sugar cane, I try to limit my kitchen roll usage (though it is hard in student accommodation). For toilet roll, I buy Who Gives A Crap and if you use this link, we will both get £5 off!
Ecosystems are constantly recycling nutrients, absorbing CO2 and producing O2 for us through the carbon cycle. The more trees, the more CO2 they sequestrate (absorb and store) which affects local and global temperatures. The phosphorous cycle, water cycle and nitrogen cycle are important too.
Lots of people have jobs in the tourism sector. Although catching a plane isn’t very good for your carbon footprint, ecotourism is increasing. For example, sometimes people who previously logged wood might switch to an ecotourism job that spreads awareness surrounding the rainforest. I think in some countries that have debts, other countries agree to forget about the debt if they conserve forests by logging sustainably or switching to ecotourism.
Best wishes, Cx