Biodiversity lost at unprecendented rate

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems
02 February 2010

In her speech at the launch of the ‘International Year of Biodiversity’ the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Buyelwa Sonjica, stressed the need to take steps to protect the biological diversity of Earth.

Fynbos. South Africa's Western Cape is a hotspot of biodiversity and a UNESCO World Heritage Site

“Biodiversity is being lost at an unprecedented rate….We are witnessing the loss of the very services on which livelihood systems depend. Our communities are being affected by erratic weather patterns, they become displaced and there is the scramble for natural resources, clean water, air and food”

She stated that our current consumption patterns will require the resources of 2 planets by 2030, and that humanity’s continued existence is under threat.

Noting that this was an opportunity to raise local awareness of the importance of biodiversity for our health, wealth, food and survival she pointed out that “South African society should strive for a more sustainable use of natural resources and for a reduction in habitat loss and climate change”.

Natural disasters, poverty and shrinking water resources were noted as some of the areas where innovative solutions were needed.

Sonjica called upon all communities to “jealously guard their natural resources” against the actions of “unscrupulous people who loot our natural resources to a point of depletion”. Rural development was singled out as a priority as these areas are often the biodiversity hot-spots.

Land redistribution was also noted as a priority.

Read the full speech: DEAT

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