December 30, 2011

Studies highlight growing urgency of preserving biodiversity

A review of eight studies conducted by 30 scientists from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, published in the scientific journal Pacific Conservation Biology, has found that climate change is worsening the situation for flora and fauna in the Oceanian region, which is already severely impacted by intensive agriculture, habitat loss, and other problems.

Land, marine, and freshwater environments are all affected. Recently, US scientists at the University of Miami in Florida also drew attention to the danger of ever-enlarging dead zones in the ocean, which are shrinking the habitat of all marine species, including fish. Their study evaluated the survival of blue marlin, billfish,
and tropical tuna, whose size and active movements necessitate large amounts of dissolved oxygen.

The researchers found that not only are the fish being deprived by dead zones of habitable regions, they are also being forced into waters closer to the surface where they are more vulnerable to fishing.

University of Miami researcher Dr. Jiangang Luo noted, (PhD) “In human terms, you might describe it as if you were in a house on fire with ... only one exit, then discovering you have a robber inside the house at the same time.” Despite a commitment made in 2002 by governments across the globe to protect 10% of the world's oceans and their inhabitants by 2012, the agreements created so far cover only a little more than 1%.

Lead author of the Oceania study, Australian Professor Richard Kingsford of the University of New South Wales, spoke of the urgency of addressing these issues as he stated, "There are opportunities to mitigate some of these impacts but it requires planning now, not when future generations inherit the problem."

Many thanks, international scientists, for your efforts to inform the public of this alarming imbalance on our planet.

May we join in acting now to implement Earth-saving practices that protect and preserve all lives. Speaking with deep concern for the alarming loss of biodiversity, Supreme Master Ching Hai during an August 2009 videoconference in Thailand reminded of what humanity must do in order to ensure the continuation
of life on Earth.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It’s a very sad thing because our animal friends are suffering terribly due to the effects of global warming. Many of the animals are dying or at the brink of extinction or already gone due to unbearable temperatures or they are being forced out of their habitats, just like human climate refugees, except they are not nearly as equipped as we are at adapting to new environments.

To ensure the peace and comfort of all our animal co-inhabitants, we really should first cease to consume them, any animals at all. Then, the wild areas and habitats will be restored as will be the animals’ natural lives. That’s the best way to protect them, to show our love to them.

Sources: PBL, UPI, Straits Times, ABC.net

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