Protecting the variety of life on Earth - TGB Charity
Vanishing Beauty: Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Some people may believe that we can live without some ecosystems. What they don’t realize is that we are very dependent on the health of all ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems clean our water, purify our air, maintain our soil, regulate the climate, recycle nutrients and provide us with food.

Biodiversity is the variety of all living things on Earth and how they come together in the web of life, bringing countless benefits to the environment.  It is also an indicator of the health of an ecosystem – the more biodiverse it is, the healthier it will stay. 

The rapid loss of species we are seeing today is estimated to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate. Biodiversity loss does not get the attention it deserves.

Caribbean Coral Reefs

Because of the diversity of life found in the habitats created by corals reefs, they are often called the “rainforests of the sea”. About 25% of the ocean’s fish depend on healthy coral reefs.

Coral reefs protect coastlines from storms and erosion, provide food and jobs, bringing prosperity to the local communities. Over half a billion people depend on coral reefs for food, income and protection around the world. 

Home to 9% of the world’s coral reefs, Caribbean coral reefs are in serious danger of disappearing due to fast growing tourism development, overfishing and global warming.

Murray-Darling Basin

The Murray-Darling Basin is a large area of south-eastern Australia where water flows through a system of interconnected rivers and lakes. More than 3 million Australians rely on the Murray-Darling Basin rivers for drinking water. The Murray-Darling Basin is of significant environmental, cultural and economic value to Australia.

Long-term overuse of water, particularly irrigation for agriculture, has prolonged the dry periods. Along with droughts, increased usage of water has led to some rivers and wetlands being degraded. This affects animals, plants and communities that rely on these wetlands. 

Raised Bogs of Germany

Raised bogs have their origins in shallow glacial lakes and wet hollows around 10,000 years ago. For a long period of time, they were slowly filled with the un-decayed remains of marginal vegetation and silt, which was when bogs began to form.

Bogs play a global role in carbon storage, climate stability, water quality and biodiversity. They are one of the most valuable wetlands ecosystems on Earth. While they are the largest natural terrestrial carbon store, they are also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions – when damaged. 

Due to a sharp increase in agricultural utilization, bogs have been drained and resources are exploited. Raised bogs in Germany are one of the most endangered wetland ecosystems in the world.

Biodiversity Crisis

United Nations-backed IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) report finds that up to one million plant and animal species face extinction - many within decades. Impacts from human activity on land and in the water influence ecosystems profoundly. Activities include agriculture, deforestation, overpopulation & overconsumption, plastic production, emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, water pollution and transporting invasive species. 

What Can We Do To Help?

  • Think Eco: Ecosystems are everywhere from your gut microbiome, local park to the entire planet. Take a moment to think about how you interact with your environment.
  • Recycle to lower waste: Use recyclable packaging instead of single-use packaging, and re-use them for other purposes to reduce the waste that end up in a landfill.  
  • Conserve energy and water: Creating simple habits such as turning off lights when not in use and turning off water taps while you brush your teeth. 
  • Shop eco-friendly products: Look out for products that don’t use harmful chemicals either during their manufacture or in the product itself. 
  • Spread awareness: Volunteer in conservation groups, spend your free time working to preserve local ecosystems, learn about COP26 (The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties) and other related conferences. Invite your friends and family to join the movement!


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