May 22nd is recognized by the United Nations as the International Day for Biological Diversity and this year’s theme is “Our Solutions are in Nature”. With much of the world at a standstill due to the coronavirus, the UN is encouraging the global community to reflect on the impact biodiversity loss has on human health and the importance of working in harmony with nature to strengthen our resilience against future pandemics.
Biodiversity is the edifice which upholds all life on Earth. However, the expansion of human activity and development has come at the expense of biodiversity preservation. Deforestation, the continued destruction of wildlife habits and biodiversity loss have increased the chances of animal to human transmission of viruses, like COVID-19 and SARS. This is a wake-up call for the global community to reassess our behaviour and explore new approaches, which are not exploitative of the environment for the benefit of human beings.
The practice of Natural Agriculture teaches us to find nature-based solutions because it is built on an overriding respect for Nature. Instead of trying to control Nature, farmers who practice Natural Agriculture respond to challenges, such as infestations and soil degradation as imbalances in the natural systems. The key to finding solutions is observing Nature to understand how it governs itself organically without human intervention and taking the whole ecosystem into consideration instead of fixating on one problem.
This International Day of Biological Diversity, it is more critical than ever that we understand how to address the ecological crisis from a holistic perspective that is sustainable for the long-term health for the planet and for people, because they are inextricably linked. We also need to employ the same sense of urgency to protect our health to the protection of biodiversity. Ultimately, Nature holds the answers – we only need to slow down, and listen.