There is only one International Earth Day a year: However, every day is Earth Day.
This year’s theme is ‘Protect Our Species’
International Earth Day 22nd April, 2019
UNESCO says it best: International Earth Day is a reminder of the ‘Earth and its ecosystems [that] provide us with sustenance, and that we have a collective responsibility to achieve balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations’.
UNESCO’s article for Earth Day exemplifies Heritage Sites as one of Nature’s largest strongholds for particularly endangered species. In their article they give examples of heritage sites around the world and pinpoint them as critical ecosystems for threatened species and vital resources for the earth’s life support.
The Cape Floral Region Protected Area in South Africa, known as the world’s hottest hot-spot for plant diversity and endemism, supports almost 20% of the continent’s flora: a haven for plants and 6000 endemic species to South Africa.
Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve is located within the Western Cape Floral Kingdom and has some of the key areas for protection of particularly the fynbos biome.
In protecting our species, to know about the IUCN Red List is fundamental.
Cape Nature has published a guide and introduction to The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List which contains an inventory of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of biological species and subspecies. The article gives examples of how South Africa’s plant and animal Red Lists are evaluated and complied as well as defining the nine categories in the Red List.
A unified and standardized way to measure biodiversity loss, this list has become the backbone of global conservation, and is used to inform policy and conservation planning. To keep this list up to date a vast network of scientists, conservationists, and other stakeholders pool knowledge together.
To read these articles follow the links below:
IUCN Red List
An ode to Earth Day by UNESCO