In our previous 2 blogs, we focused on environmental and economic sustainability respectively, which makes up 2 of our 3 core values (Environment and Skills Development). Our 3rd and equally as important value is Conservation.
The devastation that has been caused to our wildlife over the last few decades, means that we’re facing our sixth mass extinction of our plant and animal species, with many others on the critically endangered list. Unlike past mass extinctions caused by events like asteroid strikes, volcanic eruptions, and natural climate shifts, the current crisis is almost entirely caused by humans. In fact, 99 percent of all currently threatened species are at risk from human activities, primarily those driving habitat loss, introduction of exotic species and global warming. Unfortunately, our efforts have come too late for thousands of plant and animal species already which have gone extinct in the last century.
Scientists estimate that we’re losing 0.01 and 0.1% of our species every year. Let’s put this in a way we can better understand the devastation humans are causing. If there are around 100 million different species on our planet, then that means we’re killing off between 10 000 and 100 000 species each year.
Luckily there are organisations like The Bateleurs addressing all needs relating to conservation in South Africa. So, who are these unsung heroes? The Bateleurs is an NPO organisation of volunteer pilots who fly their aeroplanes behind the scenes, providing an aerial view of the South African environment for various conservation and development needs.
The Bateleurs fly to:
- Conserve and protect the earth’s diverse ecosystems;
- Expose and reverse the unsustainable use and destructive human exploitation of the earth’s biotic resources;
- Assist those who design and advocate natural resource policies that protect or restore life-sustaining ecosystems, and empower others in their efforts to maintain a healthy and productive environment;
- Support biodiversity research and management in the area of wildlife conservation, including game counts, habitat surveys and the translocation of animals and birds.
With every Uzwelo bag purchased, we donate a percentage of these proceeds to The Bateleurs to help support the amazingly selfless work that they do for conservation in our country.
We don’t want to become the generation that’s responsible for killing off the rhino, leopard and other beautiful yet endangered species, so let’s make a combined effort to be the solution and not the problem.