|Biotechnology can help in maintaining the health of animal and plant species in the natural environment / Photo by Rawpixel via 123RF|
There is no denying that our planet is drastically changing. The world's temperature is continuously increasing, sea levels are rising, wildlife and their natural habitats are being destroyed, and many more dire situations. One of them is the breaking off of an iceberg about five times the size of Manhattan from the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica. According to some reports, the Island Glacier is calving icebergs a lot more frequently than it used to and climate change is one of the biggest reasons behind it.
Over the past decades, there has been a massive influx of natural disasters, different types of weather patterns, warming and cooling periods, and others. It is important that people start to care about the environment since the future of our planet depends on it. Aside from that, climate change and global warming will only expose us to a severe environmental crisis. The problems that our environment is facing will make us vulnerable to tragedies and disasters.
Current environmental problems require urgent attention. Although there are a lot of environmentalists and organizations that exert effort in making our planet a better place to live in, it will still be useless without the help of the people around the world. Conserving our environment is of utmost importance to make sure that the next generations will have resources to keep humans and ecosystems alive.
Environmental Issues in Our Planet
Due to human activities, our planet has negatively affected our ecosystem and its inhabitants. Climate change and global warming are becoming worse than ever. Here are some of the current environmental issues you'll hear about and you should be concerned.
Our forests play an important role in producing fresh oxygen and maintaining carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Aside from that, it also regulates temperature and rainfall. Forests cover 30% of the land, however, its cover decreases every year because of the growing demand for more shelter, food, and cloth. Due to deforestation, we may only have 10 percent of the rainforests left by the end of 2030.
According to an article by Schooled by Science, at least 15% of the greenhouse gas emissions are caused by deforestation and not because of cars or factories. Deforestation also lets ecosystems die, which affects more than 70% of the planet's plant and animal species. There will be fewer trees to produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide if we let this activity continue. To solve this, people just need to stop
Once our air, soil, and water have been thoroughly polluted, it will be difficult for humans to mitigate its effects. Unfortunately, pollution is becoming worse than ever and poses threats to humans and the environment. For instance, contaminated soil can destroy irrigation and habitats; polluted air causes health problems and weakens the ozone layer; and contaminated waters will be undrinkable.
|It is important that people start to care about the environment since the future of our planet depends on it / Photo by Mihtiander via 123RF|
Additionally, pollution puts humans and wildlife in critical condition. In fact, it takes more than 100 million lives every year, which is indeed one of the biggest killers on the planet. There's also a 20% chance that people living with high levels of air pollution are at risk to die from lung cancer. In order for us to see restored air, water, and soil, it's important to recover from pollution.
Loss of Biodiversity
Human activities also lead to the extinction of millions of species and habitats, which will extremely affect our biodiversity. A report from the World Wildlife Federation showed that there has been a decline of 27% in the past three decades. The lack of biodiversity on our planet can damage ecosystems, which took millions of years to develop. The world just can’t afford the cost of biodiversity loss since humans' survival mostly depends on it.
Technology in Conserving our Environment
Through technology, conserving our environment is very possible now especially in these crucial times. It provides an opportunity to drastically improve individuals’ engagement in nature conservation by addressing the problems with how humans get information about our environment. According to an article by the Mongabay, digital technology can support nature conservation efforts in a number of ways. First, it brings transparency and gamification through digitization of the natural areas and conservation interventions.
Another is to demonstrate an impact on our environment by showing updates and using satellite imaging to show forest conservation. Additionally, biotechnology can help in maintaining the health of animal and plant species in the natural environment. According to an article by the Alliance for Science, agricultural practices also play a role in the disappearance of those species since they sometimes are misusing hazardous chemicals.
In an interview, Prof. Emma Kwon-dung, national president of the Genetics Society of Nigeria (GSN) stated that biotechnology has the ability to reduce the harmful impacts on our environment. "When we use the tools of modern biotechnology to improve the genetic makeup of our crops to increase yield, rather than depending on pesticides and fertilizers, which evidently are causing negative effects on the environment, then biotechnology has succeeded in preserving the environment,” she said.