Imagine a day coming when the people would watch movies like Madagascar to know the rare and exotic species of plants and animals that existed once upon a time. Or imagine going to maritime museums to see the last remaining endangered species like marine turtles, penguins, marine iguanas, fur seals, sea lions, and whales that once flourished on earth. It might seem an exaggeration for us but not for the researchers and environmentalists witness to the destruction of the most diverse ecosystems on our planet.
Take the Coral Reefs for instance, home to more than 25% of all known marine fish species. An independent research funded by WWF and International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN) shockingly found that we have already permanently lost 27% of the world’s coral reefs. Overfishing, destructive fishing practices, and over-development of the coastal are some of the reasons to blame for this. According to the report, if current trends continue, a further 30% is at risk of being lost in the coming thirty years.
The Amazon– the “Lungs of our Planet” and responsible for producing more than 20 per cent of world oxygen is under severe threat too. The Amazon is considered to be one of the most precious places on earth for several reasons, such as:
- One in ten known species on Earth lives here (Source: WWF)
- It’s the world´s largest remaining tropical forest containing 90-140 billion metric tons of carbon, the release of even a portion of which would accelerate global warming significantly (Source: WWF)
- One-fifth of the world’s fresh water is in the Amazon Basin (Source: Raintree)
It’s however feared that 55 percent of the Amazon’s 1.4 billion acres of rainforests could be gone by 2030. About a fifth of the Amazon rainforest has already been lost to deforestation. Overexpansion of agriculture, climate change, mining, unsustainable logging, etc. is further posing threat to this precious ecosystem.
Like the Coral Reefs and The Amazon, our planet is dotted by some of the most diverse ecosystems critical to maintain the balance of nature. This Earth Day, let us have a look at 15 such precious places that we have to conserve at all costs:
Today (April 22, 2015) marks the 45th anniversary of the Earth Day. This year’s theme is: It’s Our Turn to Lead. Earth Day Network has called out one and all to pledge an act of green by signing the largest climate petition to save the world, support environmental education, reduce energy consumption- and reach 2 billion acts of green this time. Let’s join the movement and do whatever we can to save our planet- it’s after all the only one with (you can fill in the blanks with the thing you love the most!) Happy Earth Day!