“World on track to lose two-thirds of wild animals by 2020, major report warns” (www.theguardian.com)
We cannot close our eyes on what is happening with our planet nowadays. But willing to change the world, let’s first start from ourselves. And delving deeply into the essence of human nature, let’s try to understand why is the world evolving into what we actually see around now and what are the ways to solve these problems… Instead of just criticizing the actions of other people, let’s critically think of our own thoughts, words, actions.
Having visited Akdeniz roundabouts few days ago I have noticed bird hunters there – they were just having fun, and disturbing the calmness and quietness of the primeval Akdeniz forest.
Although using birdlime (an adhesive substance used in trapping birds, illegal in many jurisdictions) to catch small birds is against the rules in south Cyprus, it is still an ongoing occurrence in island’s northern part due to some reasons. Over the years, there has been a noticeable decline in the number of small migratory birds in Cyprus and as a result a majority of conservation groups are trying to get the government to make this practice an outlaw. However it seems that bird hunting does still flourishes as common practice executed by “bird” lovers in this area of island.
Well, Cyprus is still the small world – North Cyprus is even tinier. But what happens on the smaller scale does correspond to the larger one. Micro- and macrocosmos are interwined.
Hereby we give a bigger picture of what is happening in the world of nature globally – but why not to start thinking about our own – small but precious, beautiful but vulnerable – island?
Researchers from WWF and the Zoological Society of London compiled the report from scientific data and found that the number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020. According to this report, the destruction of wild habitats, hunting and pollution were to blame.
The creatures being lost range from mountains to forests to rivers and the seas and include well-known endangered species such as elephants and gorillas and lesser known creatures such as vultures and salamanders.
It won`t be surprising if one day such game birds as black partridge, pheasant, chukar partridge, snipe, quail, turtle dove, or greylag goose become rare on Cyprus due to such an outrageous, useless, just-for-fun hunting.
As WWF report claims, elephants in Kenya are among the species most impacted by human being the vulnerable victims of kenyan poachers. Another display of violence existing worldwide…
According to Guardian newspaper, the collapse of wildlife is, with climate change, the most striking sign of the Anthropocene, a proposed new geological era in which humans dominate the planet. “We are no longer a small world on a big planet. We are now a big world on a small planet, where we have reached a saturation point,” said Prof Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, in a foreword for the report.
He said humanity was completely dependent on nature for clean air and water, food and materials, as well as inspiration and happiness.
“The biggest cause of tumbling animal numbers is the destruction of wild areas for farming and logging: the majority of the Earth’s land area has now been impacted by humans, with just 15% protected for nature. Poaching and exploitation for food is another major factor, due to unsustainable fishing and hunting: more than 300 mammal species are being eaten into extinction, according to recent research.
Pollution is also a significant problem with, for example, killer whales and dolphins in European seas being seriously harmed by long-lived industrial pollutants. Vultures in south-east Asia have been decimated over the last 20 years, dying after eating the carcasses of cattle dosed with an anti-inflammatory drug.” (from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/27/world-on-track-to-lose-two-thirds-of-wild-animals-by-2020-major-report-warns )
Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF, said: “The richness and diversity of life on Earth is fundamental to the complex life systems that underpin it. Life supports life itself and we are part of the same equation. Lose biodiversity and the natural world and the life support systems, as we know them today, will collapse.”
The report warns that losses of wildlife will impact on people and could even provoke conflicts: “Increased human pressure threatens the natural resources that humanity depends upon, increasing the risk of water and food insecurity and competition over natural resources.”
However, some species are starting to recover, suggesting swift action could tackle the crisis. Tiger numbers are thought to be increasing and the giant panda has recently been removed from the list of endangered species.
In Europe, protection of the habitat of the Eurasian lynx and controls on hunting have seen its population rise fivefold since the 1960s. A recent global wildlife summit also introduced new protection for pangolins, the world’s most trafficked mammals, and rosewoods, the most trafficked wild product of all.
Certainly, if North Cyprus wants to be accepted to EU family and become an official part of the whole world, these examples have to be taken into thoughtful consideration. By making small steps towards the natural weellbeing such as prohibitting bird hunting in Akdeniz region, we may evoke necessary positive change in global environment.
“The report is certainly a pretty shocking snapshot of where we are,” said WWF’s director of science, Mike Barrett. “My hope though is that we don’t throw our hands up in despair – there is no time for despair, we have to crack on and act. I do remain convinced we can find our sustainable course through the Anthropocene, but the will has to be there to do it.”
So, the will is here to do it – here, on Cyprus, to make our island better place to live…for everyone in the circle of our beloved Nature.
By Taliya Khafizou