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Preservation of Biodiversity - A Key to Sustaining Lives on Earth

Biodiversity is the pillar of life on earth, everything that lives depends on it. It comprises several levels, starting with genes, then individual species, then communities of creatures, and ending with the entire ecosystems such as forests, where life interplays with the physical environment. Without biodiversity, there would be no tomorrow for humanity.

Humanity depends on biodiversity for air, food and water. For example, the oxygen that we breathe comes from plants, the fruits we eat such as apples and nuts come as result of bees pollinating the flowers. Additionally, biodiversity offers solutions to a wide range of problems the world is facing today. It produces medicines for different types of diseases. Fungi help fight cancer, and wild varieties of domesticated crops such as rice, cowpeas and sorghum, help the world cope with drought or salty soils, hence addressing food insecurity. It also offers numerous services worth trillions of United State Dollars which sustains the world’s economy. This makes biodiversity indispensable in the fight against poverty, food insecurity, diseases, pollution, and climate change alike.

However, biodiversity is at best ignored and at least destroyed with impunity leading to eternal loss and extinction of certain species. The major causes of biodiversity destruction include, inter alia, clearance of habitats for agriculture, construction, energy, and mining; huge extraction of water for farms and industries, pollution and damming; and unsustainable hunting for consumption and sale. Therefore, there is need to control these activities in order to preserve its survival and save human and other lives from extinction. 

WWF in its quest to create a world where humans live in harmony with nature, has built the capacity of pupils in 13 schools of Lusaka District to support the preservation of biodiversity, under the Our Cities 2030 project. This has been through; tree planting, school and community awareness campaigns, and promotion of reuse, reduce and recycle approach to waste management in their respective schools.

It has also trained teachers from the 13 schools to ensure full adoption of education for sustainable development (ESD) teaching methodologies in their everyday interactions with pupils.

© Our Cities Project
13 model school representatives (teachers & pupils) after an ESD training in Lusaka.

Additionally, WWF Zambia in partnership with Plan International has engaged and trained youth organizations to ensure that youths out of schools are not left behind in the fighting against environmental evils including biodiversity loss. These youth organisations carry out various activities to support the preservation of biodiversity through sensitization and public awareness campaigns.

© Our Cities Project
Representatives from WWF, Plan International and Agents of Change during the project monitoring and support visit to participating youth organizations.

As a key decision player in making Lusaka City smart, resilient and sustainable, Lusaka City Council has not been left behind. WWF in collaboration with Plan International has training Lusaka City Council Staff in 1.5 Degrees Celsius trajectories development and monitoring, climate change mitigation and adaptation, education for sustainable development, and involvement of youths in local governance. 

The project is based on the premise that once stakeholders (pupils, youths, teachers, and city administrators) understand the concept of sustainability and are familiar with its concepts, they will examine their everyday activities and establish potential windows to contribute to making individuals, households, communities and cities resilient, smart and sustainable. For example, teachers, once familiar with sustainability, examine the curriculum, syllabus and school activities for existing contribution to ESD and identify potential areas to insert examples that illustrate sustainability or additional knowledge, perspectives, issues, or values related to sustainability. This will enable them to effectively contribute to the sharing of sustainability knowledge and skills, which contribute to making the city sustainable through biodiversity preservation and sustainable lifestyles alike.

© Our Cities Project
Representatives from WWF, Plan International and Lusaka City Council, after a monitoring and engagement visit.

Humans are the only species with the powers to halt biodiversity loss and save the world from extinction. Therefore, humans have no excuse but to act accordingly.
Halt Biodiversity Loss and Save the World.