Other Species are our kin
There is a basic human need to affiliate with life and lifelike processes
“For the indefinite future more children and adults will continue, as they do now, to visit zoos than attend all major professional sports combined (at least this is so in the United States and Canada), the wealthy will continue to seek dwellings on prominences above water amidst parkland, and urban dwellers will go on dreaming of snakes for reasons they cannot explain.” The Biophilia Hypothesis (Wilson, 1984)
Wilson also states, ” that human identity and personal fulfilment somehow depend on our relationship to nature. The human need for nature is linked not just to the material exploitation of the environment but also to the influence of the natural world on our emotional, cognitive, aesthetic, and even spiritual development. Even the tendency to avoid, reject, and, at times, destroy elements of the natural world can be viewed as an extension of an innate need to relate deeply and intimately with the vast spectrum of life about us.”
In The Biophilia Hypothesis, Kellert and Wilson explore what it means to be human and address our bonds with nature. They assert that we are intimately interconnected with other other eukaryotic organisms:
All higher eukaryotic organisms, from flowering plants to insects and humanity itself, are thought to have descended from a single ancestral population that lived about 1.8 billion years ago.
World Wildlife Day
Friday March 3 2023, was World Wildlife Day, a United Nations International day to celebrate all the world’s wild animals and plants and the contribution that they make to our lives and the health of the planet. This year the theme was Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation,
Within this theme, the day had a focus on two sub-topics:
- Marine life & oceans – with around 70% of our planet being covered by water, the impact of marine conservation is incredibly important.
- Business & finance – globally, conservation efforts need to be funded and this work needs to be done in collaboration with business – an area that, in the past, has been seen as exploitative and unsustainable. Successful partnerships for conservation must find ways of including business if we are to reverse the loss in biodiversity.
March 3 2023 was a very special date, as it also marked the 50th anniversary of CITES. CITES has stood at the junction of trade and conservation, with Parties to the Convention working with the shared goal of ensuring sustainability of endangered species. CITES has sought to build partnerships and reconcile differences between the groups that are guided and governed by its regulations. At national and local levels, these partnerships have been essential in every country across the globe to focus on the conservation of species and ecosystems.
The theme ‘Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation’ provides the opportunity to highlight the people who are making a difference as well as to celebrate the bridge that CITES has been for these partnerships to form, making a significant contribution to sustainability, wildlife and biodiversity conservation.…
In the latest assessment of marine species, nearly 10% were found to be at risk of extinction.
After more than a decade of negotiations, the countries of the United Nations have agreed the first ever treaty to protect the world’s oceans that lie outside national boundaries.
The UN High Seas Treaty places 30% of the world’s oceans into protected areas, puts more money into marine conservation and means new rules for mining at sea.
Environmental groups say it will help reverse biodiversity losses and ensure sustainable development.
Carbon Dioxide absorption
The IUCN estimates that 41% of the threatened species are also affected by climate change.
Minna Epps, head of IUCN’s ocean team, said: “A bit more than a quarter of emitted carbon dioxide is actually being absorbed by the ocean. That makes the ocean much more acidic, which means that it’s going to be less productive and jeopardize certain species and ecosystems.”
“We are shaped by the Earth. The characteristics of the environment in which we develop condition our biological and mental being and the quality of our life. Were it only for selfish reasons, therefore, we must maintain variety and harmony on nature.” Rene Dubos (1969).
This short film created by Romain Pennes, demonstrates the impact we humans are having on other living species- our kin.
In his words “One Earth is an environmental short film I created and edited to help raise awareness about our impact on our environment day to day. It tells the story of how we globally, and massively around the world, use resources for our short term profit, by deforestation, mining, burning fossil fuels, consuming and expanding. This sadly leads to the many environmental issues we face today in 2021, including global pollution, climate change, and the extinction of animal species.” Pennes, R. (2021)
Climate Change resources for Primary Educators
If we understand ourselves as animals and as a part of nature, we must educate young people about the importance of the natural world in order to help them to protect the future of the planet. From science topics about habitats, to English discussion-themed packs related to Greta Thunberg and other famous people, Energy Heroes provides KS1 and KS2 appropriate resources to support the work of teachers in the classroom. https://energy-heroes.org.uk/all-resources/