PARTNER CONTENT FOR SIME DARBY PROPERTY

IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT BIODIVERSITY

By Myrra Baity

IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT BIODIVERSITY

By Myrra Baity

“The State of the planet is broken. My dear friends, humanity is waging war on nature, this is suicidal, nature always strikes back and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing, 1 million species are at risk of extinction, ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes” 

-António Guterres-
UN-Secretary General, 2021, Speech at Columbia University December 2

OUR planet is home to a staggering 8,000,000 species of plants and animals, all part of a circle of life that is as beautiful as it is resilient. And yet, over a million of them are now facing extinction in the coming decades, all because of one incredibly invasive species — humans.

What would our world look like if we lost 1/8 of all plants and animals? Could this loss in biodiversity lead to another mass extinction event? Scroll on to find out more.

Loss Of Keystone Species

Keystone species are animals and plants that are critical to the survival of other species in its ecosystem. Bees, for example, help ensure the survival of many plant species through pollination, which in turn creates natural habitats for other insects and animals. This will accelerate further biodiversity loss.

About

1 Million

species of animal and plants are at risk of extinction, according to a landmark report by the UN. This includes many keystone species like bees, corals, and sea otters.

Rising global warming

The loss of biodiversity among pollinator species such as insects, bats, bees and birds will have a devastating impact on global rainforests — and that’s before we even consider deforestation by humans. This creates a vicious cycle. Plants absorb carbon dioxide, and rainforests in particular store a lot of carbon in their soil that can be released into the atmosphere. This contributes to rising global temperatures, which threatens even more plant and animal species.
Globally, approximately 30% of tree species are at risk of extinction. i

Locally, Malaysia has lost

34%

of its total forest cover from 2002 to 2020, according to global forest watch .

Loss of forest cover is a contributing factor to global warming, alongside carbon emissions, animal farming and others. The rate at which the globe is warming has sharply increased since the introduction of cars. Scientists project that in 6 to 11 years, we will surpass the global temperature rise cap of 1.5 degree celsius. i This temperature increase has led to holes in our planet’s ozone layer as well as steady increase in our sea levels. i

Food Shortages

35%of the World’s food resources depend on animal pollination.   i 

However,
40%of invertebrate pollinators like bees and butterflies are facing extinction worldwide!

Did you know?
Bees are important pollinators. Bees help pollinate crops at food farms. Without bees, about 5-8% of all crop production would be lost. i
Malaysia has its native bee species Apis dorsata which is found in Kedah, Terengganu and Pahang. i
Bees are endangered – due to deforestation, erratic climate, pesticide use and hunting. i

Even small losses in biodiversity can have a huge impact on food security, especially if that loss affects keystone species. Already, research by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) found that as much as 26% of livestock are at risk of extinction .

In a world without biodiversity, the scarcity of food would cause prices to spiral out of control, creating further social inequality and widespread malnutrition.

More Disasters

Climate change — which is exacerbated by biodiversity loss — has caused a surge in climate and weather-related disasters around the world over the past five decades. Rising temperatures have led to more heatwaves, droughts and forest fires, as well as more intense storms and floods due to increased water vapour in the atmosphere.
68 Malaysians have died from flooding, while others have lost around RM400 million in damages from 2015 to 2018 i in Johor, Pahang, Perak and Terengganu.
Flooding in these 4 states have been linked to a loss of just over 10% of their forest cover from 2001 to 2012   i  , among other reasons. Loss of forest cover can loosen the top layer of soil, which flows into rivers and increases the likelihood of floods. However, the threat of flooding is not only present in these 4 states. 
55 Malaysians have died due to flooding from December 2021 to January 2022 alone i , while over 50,000 Malaysians were displaced i – including in urban areas.
The flooding Malaysians faced at the end of 2021 caused massive damages and came as a surprise to urbanites. For the first time, urban areas in states such as Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur faced devastating flash floods. In Selangor alone, 7 Malaysians perished due to the floods i and continuous flooding since then has caused approximately RM1.4billion in damages according to the Selangor government. i

What causes biodiversity loss?

Deforestation ?
Loss of keystone species ?
Water pollution ?
Global warming ?

The answer is all of the above! There are many factors that could lead to biodiversity loss, but the common denominator is that they are mostly caused by human activity.

How do we fix it?

Due to the global cry to restore our biodiversity, the United Nations has launched The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021 – 2030) – an urgent call to action to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean. This global rally aims to help end poverty, combat climate change and prevent a mass extinction, but only if everyone plays a part.

As a responsible corporate citizen and a ‘Force for Good’, Sime Darby Property (SDP) has pledged to restore urban biodiversity with its comprehensive 2030 Sustainability Goals. A key initiative in the developer’s commitment to biodiversity conservation is through tree-planting and reforestation efforts.

Through strategic partnerships with conservation specialists, SDP will undertake rigorous biodiversity assessments and drive the inclusion of endangered, rare and threatened tree (ERT) species in its landscaping, with the goal of transforming green spaces within their developments into a genetic store and subsequently, encourage wildlife to flourish.
Watch the full video to find out more.

SDP has partnered with the non-governmental organisation, Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (TRCRC) in its wellness-oriented City of Elmina township. This partnership resulted in the birth of  the Elmina Rainforest Knowledge Centre (ERKC), a pilot initiative which will serve as a one-stop-centre for forestry research, conservation, education and recreation. The tree nursery facility at ERKC aims to produce up to 100,000 ERT tree species which will then be transplanted across the City of Elmina and other Sime Darby Property townships.

The ERKC will also be hosting environmental educational workshops, tree planting and reforestation activities for the public to learn about the importance of our rainforests.

Stay tuned for more exciting activities and content coming your way
as we embark on this journey into urban biodiversity.
Join us to make a change.

    • Disclaimer: photos as published on The Star, 1 June 2022

    • Disclaimer: photos as published on The Star, 1 June 2022

    • Disclaimer: photos as published on The Star, 1 June 2022

    • Disclaimer: photos as published on The Star, 1 June 2022

    • Disclaimer: photos as published on The Star, 1 June 2022