13th December: Wildlife Recovery
The Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club was the venue for this years Christmas lunch and we welcomed Dr Tim Woodfine wildlife conservation leader who spoke on Wildlife Recovery and Regaining Nature in a Rapidly Changing World.
The most endangered species live in irreplaceable global environments. Ecosystems are interdependent on many levels ensuring healthy biodiversity. Sunlight and primary production drive life on earth. Plants consume carbon dioxide, emit oxygen, purify water and regulate the climate. Plants need bees as pollinators, stag beetles as recyclers and numerous seed dispersers. Higher in the food chain carnivores regulate populations and reduce disease. Science currently describes two million species of which 141 thousand have been assessed and 28% are threatened with extinction. Climate and environmental change put pressure on endangered species. The human population is eight billion and will be 10 billion in the next decade. We have significant welfare disparities; 800 million people currently do not have enough to eat and there is increasing vulnerability to emerging diseases.
Effective conservation initiatives are based on learning traditional, sustainable land practices from indigenous communities. By recognising the value of diverse, managed livestock vulnerable communities become self sufficient and have no need to kill endangered species for food or income. In Africa this approach has seen a significant fall in local poaching and the number of white and black rhinoceros, elephants and giraffes are increasing.