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It’s Time for Nature

June 5 is World Environment Day! It’s been celebrated since 1974 and provides an opportunity for the global community to focus on the environment. This year’s pandemic has certainly given us all a reason to pause and reflect on our personal priorities. We’ve taken advantage of neighborhood walks but we’ve missed going to parks and beaches, and enjoying all that nature has to offer. According to the United Nations, the “foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature”. This year’s World Environment Day focuses on biodiversity, and this short video highlights that we are all interconnected.

Biodiversity, or the variety of life in a given area, affects every aspect of human health, and changing or removing one element of our interconnected web can lead to negative impacts. Humans impact the physical environment in many ways – increasing population, pollution, land use changes for housing and transit, and lifestyle choices. Collectively, our choices have contributed to biodiversity losses and “it would take 1.6 Earths to meet the demands that humans make on nature each year”. If you want to learn more about diversity, take this quiz and visit this page to find out about virtual events in the United States.

This University of Florida factsheet identifies that citizen science is one way that we can participate in and contribute to scientific research about biodiversity. You will find more resources here about biodiversity, or you may contact your local Extension office for citizen science programs.

Together, we can all make a difference, and protect the bounty that nature has to offer.

#ExtensionSustainableLiving #SustainableSaturday #ForNature