The theme of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) on 22 May 2020 is “Our solutions are in nature” As the global community is called to re-examine its relationship to the natural world, one thing is certain: despite all our technological advances we are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our health, water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter and energy, just to name a few. The slogan “Our solutions are in nature” emphasises hope, solidarity and the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature. @UNBiodiversity
The physical environment explored within the Living Systems theme in the South African National Antarctic Programme(SANAP) greatly influences biotic components of ecosystems, especially at high latitudes, where strong seasonality and extreme conditions tend to dominate biotic interactions. Within this context, the disentanglement of the role of past exploitation and current recovery from current impacts of global change remains a challenge.
Fixed and renewable natural resources in the region are poorly explored. Although currently restricted by the Antarctic Treaty System, exploitation of such natural resources is of international interest. It thus remains necessary to ensure that biodiversity is conserved and that any development in the region is sustainable.
A few current Projects within Living systems in SANAP are:
- Small Procellariiformes as indicators of ecosystem changes and plastic pollution
- Microbial diversity, functionality and resilience in Antarctic terrestrial niche communities
- Marion Island Marine Mammals: Individual Variation and Population Processes in Changing Environments
- Invasions in the changing sub-Antarctic
- Biocomplexity: Understanding biological patterns in space and time
Full text of the Biodiversity Convention.
Strategic plan for Biodiversity by the UN – The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 – A ten-year framework for action by all countries and stakeholders to save biodiversity and enhance its benefits for people.
Photo credit : Ben van der Walt