Monday, September 29, 2008

Welcome to the Neighborhoods Wildlife Conservation Blog!

Hey all, Arun here. Welcome to the beginning. This blog is hopefully a precursor to something larger, but for now will serve as one of my tools for getting the word out on what's going on in the wide, wide world of wildlife conservation.

The word is finally beginning to spread: the planet we live on is in dire need of some serious healing. With this blog I hope to do my part in helping people learn more about what issues we need to pay attention to, what actions we can take, and what organizations we can support.

Taking care of our planet is something we need to band together to do cooperatively. The old notions of each city, each state, each country containing its pollutants and problems within its borders has been replaced by the truth--that everything is connected. Harmful, airborn particulates released in China are blown across the Pacific ocean to the San Francisco Bay Area. Toxic waste dumped in such remote areas as Yucca Mountain is seeping into ground soil and is entering water supply. Deforestation in Brazil effects the rest of the world. Our actions not only affect the animals we share our space with, but are affecting us, as well.

But this movement can never take off without realizing that it's not just about us. Saving animals to save ourselves is not enough motivation to truly enact the change needed to turn the ill effects of humanity's irresponsibility around. Preserving fish populations to ensure our next indulgence of maguro nigiri at our next craving for sushi is not enough. In order to truly make this movement work and save our planet, we must understand that the Earth is a system, one that is made up of smaller systems. These smaller systems can be further broken down into even smaller systems. When one of these systems breaks down, it affects the rest. This can lead to minor changes, or can lead to devastating, irreversible chain reactions.

While major damage has been done through human overpopulation, the spreading of invasive species, pollution, habitat destruction, and overconsupmtion of the world's resources, I truly believe that we can make the necessary changes to turn things around. As an educator, I have seen the spark in the eyes of a child during that moment in which beauty is recognized in learning something new. People's have immense capacities to care, and the potential of that spirit is monumental. Everyone of us needs to tap into it, direct it, and exercise it!

You don't need to be a child to find beauty in an hummingbird, in a flower, in the relationship between the two. Anyone can find this beauty. It is right there, in your own backyard. If you didn't know it was there, go take a look. You don't need to venture to the jungles of India or the grasslands of South Africa to find beautiful plants and animals, you all have wildlife in your own neighborhoods! Start there!

This is the mission of the Neighborhoods Wildlife Conservation Alliance: To inspire love for the planet’s many ecosystems while getting to know your own.

Now, while I am an educator by day and graduate student by night, my attempts to update this blog regularly might be in vein. I will try to make a post a week at least, so please check back to find out news pieces, videos, pictures, links, and commentary on the subject of wildlife conservation. And don't forget, the only person that can make change in this world is you!