International Biodiversity Day in Pictures
by Bustar Maitar
May 22, 2013
© Paul Hilton / Greenpeace
On this International Day for Biological Diversity, we want to show you stunning images from one of the worlds richest places in biodiversity: Indonesia. From whale sharks, to abundant coral reefs and forests teeming with life, the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior is currently documenting the beauty and fragility of Indonesias natural environment.
The message in these images is simple: this is what we stand to lose if we dont act now.
If our planet is to sustain life on earth in the future and be protected from environmental destruction, we need action by governments to protect our living, breathing oceans and forests and to halt biodiversity loss.
The fragile state of Indonesia’s oceans and forests are a clear reminder of how marine and forest life is at risk from industrial overfishing and relentless deforestation.
Indonesia has at least 20% of the worlds total biodiversity and is home to more than 30,000 recorded species of plants and more than 3,000 mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
Approximately 10% of the worlds rainforests are located in Indonesia. Fifty years ago, 82% of the country was covered with forests but in the last decade this has dropped to 48% due to relentless deforestation for paper and palm oil plantations and mining.
Indonesias seas are also among the most diverse coastal and marine habitats. Areas like Raja Ampat, in West Papua, are claimed to be among the richest spots in biodiversity on Earth. But the countrys coral reefs are considered to be among the worlds most threatened biodiversity hotspots, at risk from overfishing, pollution and climate change.
Continued inaction is not an option.
We must move now to stop destructive industrial overfishing in order to restore our oceans to health and take steps to achieve zero deforestation.