Somewhere on a polluted ocean, the largest, oldest, most complex and subtle boat ever seen slices through the waves in silence. Name written on the worn-out hull : “The Biodiversity”. Number of passengers on board: more than 8 million.
She has been afloat since there were salt water bodies. She has endured unprecedented cataclysms, meteor showers and ice ages. She was already cutting through the waves when, 800,000 years ago, some curious primates tamed fire. When their descendants illuminated the darkness for the first time in history with an incandescent light bulb. When, their descendants, exploded rockets that carried them to the moon.
Yet, today, The Biodiversity (like the were once “The May Flower” or “La Santa Maria”) is in decline.
Her turbines squeak, her engine is running out of steam, her hull is scratched and her fuel reserves are dwindling. This liner that we had presumed unsinkable rusts, groans, begs for a retreat from an unsustainable and senseless cruising pace.
Now she is taking on water from all sides without us feeling the urgency of the impending sinking more than the first class passengers of the infamous Titanic on the night of April 14, 1912. And while upstairs the orchestra starts a waltz and the evening is in full swing, in the holds the first ones are drowning.
In the context of the International Day for the Protection of Biodiversity that took place the 22th of May, some forty Belgian organisations, brought together various recognised experts in the field of biodiversity.
Together, they launched a unanimous and urgent appeal for the safeguarding of ecological diversity. They called on us to act together and now by moderating our impact on the different animal and plant species through a series of gestures.
Because, even if we tend to forget it – by accident or deliberately – if The Biodiversity sinks, we will sink with her. And this time, there will be no lifeboats for anyone.
So the question we should ask ourselves today is if we know how to swim ?