Loss of biodiversity threatens all, including our health. During this pandemic, it's timely to reflect on how the emergence of coronaviruses could be related to biodiversity loss. According to the United Nations, "It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonoses - diseases transmitted from animals to humans - while, on the other hand, if we keep biodiversity intact, it offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses... While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities."
Friday 22 May, 2020, is United Nations' International Day of Biological Diversity. The theme this year is "Our solutions are in nature, which emphasizes hope, solidarity and the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature."
Georges Riverkeeper has been working on a number of projects that seek to maintain and improve biodiversity including regeneration works at Oyster Creek Gully and Simmos Beach (projects assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust) and saltmarsh plantings at key sites along the river (funded by NSW DPI Fisheries’ Recreational Fishing Trust’s “Habitat Action Grant Program”).
To celebrate biodiversity, here's a showcase of the amazing diversity of plant life present along the Georges River. All of these images were taken in Georges River National Park by the keen photographer and plant identification enthusiast, Karlo Taliana. These images highlight just a fraction of the diversity of plant life in the area. These plants and many others contribute to maintaining ecosystem services that we all rely on.
Georges River National Park Flora
Images by Karlo Taliana