This year, the theme of International Day for Biological Diversity is “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health”, which aims to raise awareness of the interconnectedness of our health and food systems with biodiversity. If this interlinked chain of life is broken, all species including human cannot survive.
Wetlands, even though sometimes look bare, is one of the highly productive ecosystems, which supports the amount and number of species as rich as in rainforest and coral reefs. Agriculture and aquaculture practices where food is produced mainly happened in wetlands. For example, half of the world’s population, mainly in Asia, have rice as their main food source. Wetlands are important to human, but also to other wildlife, yet they are in no way to compete with human.
Habitat loss due to habitat change for agriculture and aquaculture or other land uses is driving many species to extinction. In East Asian-Australasian Flyway, there are at least 33 globally threatened migratory waterbird species. This figure is the highest among all the flyways in the world. We need sustainable ways of maintaining both biodiversity and food productivity. There are good examples: some traditional aquaculture practices, such as Gei Wei provide answers for sustainable shrimp mariculture in Mai Po, Hong Kong; Stork Nature Rice promoted in Toyooka in Japan.
Let’s take a moment to think about the source of the food when we have meals next time, and we can take actions to help:
- Reduce your meat consumption
- Eat and purchase seasonal foods
- Buy local foods
- Reduce your food waste
- Compost your food scraps
- Reduce food packaging by using reusable bags or reusing glass jars or containers
- Avoid single-use plastics like plastic straws, coffee cups, plastic cutlery, take out containers or plastic water bottles
- Promote local and indigenous biodiversity for food and nutrition
To learn more about International Day for Biological Diversity: https://www.cbd.int/idb/2019/