“The world’s wildlife falls by 58% in 40 years.” These were the headlines posted in the mainstream media after the release of The Living Planet 2016 assessment done by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and WWF. It suggested that if the trend continues, the decline could reach two-thirds among vertebrates by 2020 (that will be a loss of 67%).
Many of you know about my campaigning to reverse the current population trends because all the issues on this planet like, climate change, habitat loss, poverty and wildlife decline, stem from overpopulation. We have a huge ecological footprint at the moment, and it is still growing. We have to start the conversation about slowing down the rise in population.
When it comes to the decline in habitat and the wildlife, there is an even more urgent need for change. We have to act now. Don’t sit back and think that other peopl are doing something to stop this decline. Don’t assume that other people won’t let this happen. You are part of the generation who are watching the 6th extinction happen, so get up and do something about it. There are many things that can be done to help. Be the one in your group or community who starts to make a difference. The opposite of hope is apathy. Be hopeful not apathetic. #Startswith1thing
Here are easy things that you can do to make a difference:
- Educate yourself. Learn about species and the critical ecosystems they inhabit. You cannot help a species unless you protect their environment. Start with species which you love, like, or are curious about.
- Support wildlife charities – Pick a mixture of local and foreign charities. Make it a mixture of Wildlife and ecosystem orientated groups who are involved in educating people about the state of the environment. Be active in those charities and take part in events that they have. It’s a chance to meet other like-minded people too.
- Spread the word. You may not be able to get into the wilds to physically help, but your donation will help to pay the salary of someone who can. Your role here is rather to raise awareness with the people around you. Education and preventative measures are needed to help stop the decline.
- Protest and campaign. Be the best activist you can. And realise that it’s a journey. Attend a few campaigns, and then get more involved. Volunteer once you start to feel at ease with protesting.
- Share social media posts. This is crucial to help spread the word. Social media is a major tool to raise awareness and support for any cause. The goal is awareness first, and then to garner financial support. We cannot support those on the frontline without raising awareness first so add your opinion to the posts you’re sharing. Anyone can simply share a post. Make your mark by telling the friends and family in your social media community why you are sharing it. Use the hashtag #Startswith1thing
- Buy wildlife and conservation DVD’s. Watch them often. Watch documentaries on TV, or websites like YouTube. Share what you have seen. We get caught up in so many repetitive activities in our daily lives that we often forget about the world around us.
- Sensitise yourself. Make the natural world a part of your life. It takes effort to do this in a society that is rapidly desensitising you i.e. re-educate yourself in a world which forces you to believe that you are all that matters. Take time to remind yourself to care.
- Making smart donations. Be aware of who you donate your money too. Not all societies, organisations or foundations will donate 100% of your donations to the cause. The larger the charity (global presence), the larger their overheads will be (costs to run it), and that means an ever dwindling percent of your donation to helping species or ecosystems. Don’t automatically give to the likes of the WWF and Greenpeace. They are big business so look around for smaller ones.
- It starts with you. Don’t sit back and wait for someone else to do something about it. Never assume others will be there to fix the problem. Be that single candle in the dark world. #Startswith1thing
- Let me know. I’m working on a project to collate a list of frontline charities (watch this space) that are physically fighting for wildlife at the coalface. So, please mail me your suggestions if you know about or donate to a wildlife charity like this. The purpose of this is to help direct people who are keen to donate and get involved in these programs but are confused with all the charities out there.
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