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January 29, 2022, 07:16:24 am

Author Topic: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 4  (Read 2182 times)

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J_Rho

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[2020 LA CLUB] Week 4
« on: May 18, 2020, 05:40:54 pm »
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The article from the 2010 Exam, which is, as promised, not an Uluru article.

Happy analysing!

Background Info
Background information
Biodiversity is the term used to describe life on earth – the variety of living things, the places they inhabit and the interactions between them. The transcript of the keynote speech given by Professor Chris Lee at the International Biodiversity Conference 2010 held in Nagoya, Japan, from 25 to 27 October, is printed on pages 12 and 13. In 2002 a commitment was made to achieve ‘a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth’ by 2010. The purpose of this Nagoya conference was to review progress towards achieving the target and to look beyond 2010.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is a year of vital significance to our world. In declaring 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity,
the United Nations stated: “It is a celebration of life on earth and of the value of biodiversity in our lives. The
world is invited to take action in 2010 to safeguard the variety of life on earth: biodiversity”.

Has this been a year of celebration of life on earth? Has this, in fact, been a year of action?

Eight years ago – in April 2002 – many of our countries made a commitment to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss. Over the next two days we will be reviewing our progress in this area. Honestly, how well have we done?

It is with great pleasure – though not without a tinge of sadness – that I address you on this occasion and work with you to re-establish, indeed to strengthen, our goals for the next decade.

One may justly ask: how far have we really come in our commitment to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to ensure the preservation of life on earth? For, perhaps idealistically, this is exactly what we set out to do.

Sadly, over the last one hundred years, we have lost 35% of mangroves, 40% of forests and 50% of wetlands. Due to our own thoughtless human actions, species are being lost at a rate that is estimated to be up to 100 times the natural rate of extinction. Of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of 44 837 species assessed, 38% are today threatened and 804 already extinct. It is too late for them.

In truth, for the first time since the dinosaurs disappeared, animals and plants are being driven towards extinction faster than new species can evolve. We are in the grip of a species extinction being driven by the destruction of natural habitats, hunting, the spread of alien predators, disease and climate change. Reversing this negative trend is not only possible, but essential to human wellbeing.

We know this. We are, in truth, the most educated generation of any to date. We have no excuse for inaction. Clearly it is our lack of unity and lack of genuine commitment to action that have led us to this grim situation.

For too long our approach has been haphazard. Wonderful words, glossy brochures, inspiring documentaries are no substitute for real action. It is one thing to mouth platitudes in the comfort of an air-conditioned and sumptuously catered conference hall and quite another to produce concrete results. A zoo here, a national park there, faint promises at conferences such as ours, a talk-fest of targets. What have WE – what have YOU and YOUR country – actually done since 2002 to contribute to the achievement of our goals?

There is no need to remind you why biological diversity is so important. As we all well know, our failure to conserve and use biological diversity in a sustainable manner is resulting in environmental degradation, new and more rampant illnesses, deepening poverty and a continuing pattern of inequitable and untenable growthon a global scale. Healthy ecosystems are vital to regulating the global climate. Poor rural communities depend on biodiversity for health and nutrition, for crop development, and as a safety net when faced with climate variability and natural disasters. Indeed, the poor are particularly vulnerable because they are directly dependent on biodiversity for their very survival, yet they are not in a position to do anything about it.

Species diversity affects the quantity and quality of human food supply. Biodiversity loss undermines the food security, nutrition and health of the rural poor and even increases their vulnerability. More than 1.1 billion people remain in extreme poverty and, while the wellbeing of all people is dependent on ecosystem services, it is the dependence of the poor on these services which is most crucial. Poverty eradication is crucial to a global action plan, yet the needs of the poor are often subordinated to the interests of us, the powerful economic giants. It is time we stopped kidding ourselves that the epidemic of affluenza is having little effect upon fragile ecosystems across our planet. We affluent hunters and gatherers must hunt less, gather less, conserve more and preserve more before it is too late!

Is any of this new information? Of course not! As leaders in the area of biodiversity, we know what damage our lifestyle is doing to our world. The time for talk is over: now, truly, is the time for serious action. We must reinforce this message to those in power: to the politicians, to the corporate leaders, even to the everyday householder.

I leave you with the words of the ecologist Thomas Eisner: “Biodiversity is the greatest treasure we have . . . Its diminishment is to be prevented at all costs”.

Thank you.

— VCE —
English 29, Further Maths 32, Biology 31, Legal Studies 26, Psychology 32

— University —
Bachelor of Nursing @ Monash