Greetings from Moncoto, the Democratic Republic of Congo, a village at the border of the amazing Salonga National Park just behind me. The largest forested protected area in an African, treasure box of biodiversity.
When we think of wildlife we think of the amazing diversity of species, of colours, of shapes, adaptations, behaviours.. But not so much about the roles wildlife play in the resilience, the stability and the health of ecosystems they live in. And also, facilitating the restoration and regeneration of what we, humans, have degraded.
In the last few days we have visited and incredibly intact tropical forest and watched much wildlife, experienced the amazing culture of the Batwa, local Indigenous communities, and seen a lot of forest elephant tracks. Forest elephants are thinning out the younger trees, making space for larger trees to grow, making the forest more resilient, more productive. But also helping the forest sequester more carbon and so be more effective in combatting climate change.
We’ve seen hornbills, parrots, other birds eating fruits and dispersing seeds across the forest, and so many other less iconic species perhaps, from butterflies to flying insects, but also smaller birds and bats that are playing an incredible role in the pollination of plants and trees in the forest.
So, wildlife is not just only something incredibly inspirational, but is actually also something absolutely indispensable. Indispensable for the health and the balance of our global ecosystem.
So on World Wildlife Day 2022, let’s embrace a nature positive Global Goal for Nature, so that by the end of this decade, we will have more wildlife than today, none less. This is because we must fulfil our obligation, our duty to coexist with the amazing diversity of life on the planet, but also because we are increasingly understanding that we depend on healthy nature. More, in fact, than nature depends on us.
Happy World Wildlife Day!