Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Environment Part 1: Conservation

I know this is a dry subject. No one really gives attention about it, neither talking about it. It's your boring biology that we tend to lazy or hate to go to read it often. In more depths, I am talking about conservations and environment. Why do we bother to care about? Let me ask you a question, where are you standing and living right now? Earth, right - the third rock from the sun. I bet you realize that there are so much other things in this world we can love for - not only other human, but also the flora (plants) and animals (fauna) are all available in this world. Environment is a broad topic, which may covers wildlife and conservation, global warming, recycling and so forth. In this first part, we will venture out into wildlife conservation.

Conservation can be defined as protection of valued resources and protection from changes. Conservation and environment have never been a subject of interest among the bloggers. Recently, the Wild Nuffnang Party was held - and allow me say this: it is only a costume-party rather than to raise awareness about environment issues that keeps on bugging the Mother Nature. I used to be a member of my school's Nature Club (Kelab Pencinta Alam). I remembered those days when we go to National Parks, doing jungle hiking, list downs the species characteristics, running for recycle campaign and other stuffs. Gone are those days but the spirit of environment is still there.

The humans are categorized into three kinds:
Environment experts and their allies
The hunter and destroyer

People who stands in between doing nothing (okay, he is not human!!)

How true. The war between the environmentalist and those taking profit from their wreckage on the Mother Nature has been forged over the years, too long for anyone of us to remember. Everytime, I am sure that those people from GreenPeace will make noise and protest when ever they want and when ever they are people who are trying to "destroy" the environment. GreenPeace International which was set up in 1971 in Vancouver, Canada is now a major environmental non-profit group dealing with issues like whaling, nuclear power and global warming and usually they do protest and try to place a big banner to show their disagreement.
See, they even have a fancy protesting ship. They are everywhere, so beware. Recently, the GreenPeace launched a protest over the government of Japan for allowing whaling activity in the Pacific Ocean, Antartica nad Artic region. The move following reports that the number of whale had risen back due to heavy efforts on consevating them. The move angered many party and the some are considering a sue against the Japanese government.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) based in Switzerland is the world's largest independent and charity conservation organization with over 5 million supporters worldwide, working in more than 90 countries, supporting 100 conservation and environmental projects around the world. How noble but I don't remember them winning any Nobel Prize before, how come and how sad!! Feeling curious, I went to their website and I have to say it is very interesting and informative. You should go and pledge some supports for them as well. Currently, the G8 members state are in summit in Japan, we from the environment care side do hope some fruitful solution for global warming and environment issues to be tackled through.

According to the good people from WWF and some other sources I have searched, apparently it is listed that there are few problems and challenges we can see everyday that are threatening the whole wildlife kingdom.
(1) Habitat loss is one of them, due to human exploitation of land for agricultural and other purposes have involving many trees been cut down, forest shrinking and animals have no where to live. In 1990s, forest loss is estimated at 94 million hectares. While 37% of world's population are living 60km within the sea side, this have contributes to degradation of marine habitat as well.

(2) Human-animal conflict where both side are fighting for food and space, and of course human always win. How would you react if elephant is in your backyard?

(3) Wildlife trade is another one. Very hard to describe, but imagine this; tiger been hunted and killed each year for their skin, meat and later into herbal products. Or something like people smuggling animals and insects and plants across the borders for money.

(4) Climate change is the most important thing to say. Our world is getting warmer and warmer every second. While we continue to pump thousands of CO2 into the air,some animal species need to evolute to adapt the ever changing environment. Antartica is no longer icier than ever, deserts are expanding and breaching into grassland, sea level is increasing. This is a survival issues where humans are as well in danger of it too.

(5) Bycatch means netting everything even we don't need it. That is why when people fishing, it is encourage that we only catch the "adult" one while the "children" should be released back into their wildlife. With modern technique of fishing using big big net in thrawler, many non-adult fishes are netted as well. So where will be the next generation going to be?

(6) Pollution, the never ending issues. There are morons who still throw their rubbish into drain, from above bulding and what ever. My neighbour is one of them, wtf!! About 26 times more pesticide have been sprayed into the crops over the last 50 years. Oil spilts everywhere, open burning causing haze, while the Norwegian found the commonly used chemical deca-BDE (deca-brominated diphenyl ether) in polar bears and gulls on the remote Arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen. These findings, far from any known source, contradict previous industry claims that deca-BDE does not build up in humans and wildlife.

As far as I know, conservation project in Malaysia are concentrated more on tigers, rhinos, elephants, turtles and orang utans. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources have listed almost all endangered species in their Red List. Almost 85% of the animal listed are classifed either as "Threatened" and "Endangered".
Sumatran and Borneo Orang Utan - Classified as Critically Endangered where their number have fallen by 80% over the last 75 years. Due to the rapid deforestation, the number of Sumatran is only around 6,600 while Borneo only has 49,000.
Mauritius Parakeet - Classified as Endangered. It is only found in Mauritius after the same species in Reunion Island have totally wiped out. Due to successful conservation, the number had increased from 10 in 1970s to about 150s now.
Floreana Coral - Classified as Critically Endangered, is endemic in Galapagos Islands. They are under danger due to rising sea water temperature and global warming, also they once disappeared after the El Nino effect in 1983.
Giant Panda - Classified as Endangered, a national icon of China. They are only estimated at 3000 at the last count. Thanks to the conservation efforts over the last 20 years, their hope were restored.
Wild Apricot - Classified as Endangered, is now rare in their natural home in China and Central Asia. Due to rapid construction for tourism sectors, the species been abandoned in the wild to face extinction.
Polar Bear - Classified as Vulnerable. Again an example of good conservation increased their number to current 25000. But this may hampered as hunting for them continues.
I know it is kind of long but this is a way I can make this pledge to all of you out there to support wildlife conservation. Go to WWF Malaysia and give them some help. I helped them before and I'm looking forward for more in the future. So which human are you? TO BE CONTINUE....


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