Happy World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought! Plus, British wetland super reserve. Also World Croc Day tomorrow, and listeners’ call to action!
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, British Wetland Super Reserve, World Croc Day, Listeners’ Call to Action!
WORLD DAY TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT
The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed on 17 June each year to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. The day offers a chance to recognize that land degradation neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels.
This day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on January 30, 1995, the day after the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification was drafted.
The day, and its significance are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Specifically, SDG Goal 15: Life on Land states the resolve of the United Nations and the SDG signatory nations to halt and reverse land degradation. Generally speaking the SDGs declare that “we are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations”.
This year, the theme of the International Day Against Desertification, and Drought “Rising up from drought together”, emphazises the need of an early action to avoid disastrous consequences for humanity and the planetary ecosystems. The UN has provided some neat downloadable intel on this day. Click on the link in the Deeper Dive section of this episode at theclimate.org/episodes to find out more.
BRITISH WETLAND SUPER RESERVE: CLIMATE CHANGE NATURAL SOLUTIONS
Last week, on the eve of World Oceans Day, the British government announced the creation of a new “super reserve” in the Somerset Wetlands National Nature Reserve.
A super reserve is a mosaic of different habitats, linked all together as part of an entire landscape management plan. The total area of the reserve is 6100 hectares, or just over 15,000 acres, near Bridgewater Bay off the Bristol Channel, along the southwest coast of England. It will encompass existing reserves on Somerset’s levels and moors, a region of coastal plains, fens, reedbeds and saltmarshes.
The area is also a stronghold for many different species of wetland and ground nesting birds like the Skylark, Bittern and Avocet. It’s also a significant site for a huge variety of insects such as the hairy dragonfly, silver diving beetle and the raft spider – the second largest spider in the UK.
The super reserve area is estimated to contain around 11 million tons of carbon, and the idea is not just to sequester all that, but to help the reserve sequester even more carbon tonnage. The project is expected to take about three years to complete.
Craig Bennett, Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts said, “If we are to achieve nature’s recovery, we need to create and restore wild places across the countryside, giving wildlife the chance it so desperately needs to spread and thrive.”
And that’s why Britain’s newest super reserve matters to us. Natural solutions such wetlands and peat bogs which store carbon are crucial for a healthier future.
The announcement demonstrates how the Government is delivering on a key item of the Environment Act: halt the decline in wildlife populations through a legally binding target for species abundance by 2030.
HAPPY 5TH WORLD CROC DAY
And no, I don’t mean the ubiquitous footwear.
World Croc Day is “a global awareness campaign to highlight the plight of endangered crocodiles and alligators around the world.” World Croc Day was organized by the Crocodile Research Coalition in conjunction with the Belize Zoo back in 2017. The hope is the day will encourage people to get involved in helping them. During past celebrations, events have been held at that and other zoos and the day has been marked around the world.
Why do crocodiles and their preservation as a species matter to us? Crocodiles can be found in nearly every corner of the world. These reptiles are native to both the North and South American continents. They are also found in Africa, Australia, and Asia. That means they’re integral to biodiverse ecosystems all over the planet. If they perish, that spells big trouble for those ecosystems, too.
Crocodiles are easily confused with alligators. There are some differences between the two, however. The primary difference is the shape of their snout. The crocodile’s snout forms a long, pointed V-lie shape. Alligators’ snouts, on the other hand, are more rounded and u-shaped. In addition, crocodiles are usually much larger than alligators. The average alligator weighs about 500 pounds. Crocodiles can reach up to 2,200 pounds! This reptile is also much more aggressive than alligators, which makes them more dangerous.
Oh, and contrary to popular belief (or literature) crocodile tears is a real thing. Crocodiles produce tear while eating. It’s believed that they swallow too much air, which makes contact with their lachrymal (tear) glands, which produce tears.
THE CLIMATE DAILY LISTENER CALL OUT CHALLENGE
Recently, one of our listeners shared her story of how listening to the climate daily helped her deal so well with her climate change overwhelm, that she got out and started working with the local community based group. Then she challenged us to ask you all to share any stories you might have of how listening to the climate daily might have inspired you into action, so we can share them with the world.
Remember, we’re all about sharing stories of people taking positive action to combat climate change. And that’s you listeners. You can hit us up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter at #wetheclimate or Jeffrey at The Climate dot org or Maude at The Climate dot org, too.