#Opinion

Save the Environment but not Nyamuk, boleh tak?

What if our arch nemesis went extinct?

World Environment Day is coming up, but TBH, all I can think about is how much I wish nyamuk didn’t exist. Like, I’m all for saving the environment and saving animals tapi nyamuk seriously boleh belah!

I’m not a fan of them not just cos I geli. But these nyamuk srly also carry a lot of diseases – malaria, zika, and dengue to name a few. And baru tahun lepas we had 130,000 cases of dengue in Malaysia. So you can see why I’m not exactly part of their fan club. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind if they all went extinct!

And I’m not the only one who has wished these annoying bugs would just buzzzzzzzzzzzz off. (See what I did there? heh.)

Some scientists have been actually researching apa nak jadi if we decided to get rid of mosquitoes for good. And sadly for me, the outcome would actually be not very good.

Not only would we be wiping out 3,500 unique species from the face of the earth, but birds, fishes and insects would have less source of food, and from there even more animals in the food chain will be threatened if nyamuk ceased to exist!

Don’t worry: I’m not saying we should start helping the nyamuks to membiak. Let’s be real, 2020 has been hard enough with COVID-19, and we really don’t need more dengue cases anyway. As it is, banyak nyamuk have already come to urban areas because their natural habitat has been destroyed.

Biodiversity (and Nyamuks) keep the environment happy

Biodiversity is about balance. And to maintain this balance, we need to stop the nyamuk from breeding where we live. By making sure water tak bertakung, picking up our litter (bottles, paper cups – anything that could collect water), and keeping our garden neat ‘cause mosquitoes memang suka lepak dekat semak.

Say what I want pasal nyamuk, but the fact is that all creatures (tak kisahlah besar ke kecik) are super important in making sure the environment is healthy and balanced.

It’s probably why the theme for World Environment Day this year – Time for Nature -explores the importance of biodiversity – which literally means the variety of biological life on earth; like plants, animals, insects, and even micro-organisms! Yes: including nyamuk!

Biodiversity is precious and plays a big role in making sure our ecosystems are stable. All species are interconnected, including manusia, and sama-sama depend on each other. So if one thing goes wrong or if one species goes extinct, it will have an effect throughout many (if not all) other species!

As one of the lucky countries to still have primary forests rich in wildlife and flora, we should embrace our role as guardians and protectors. Trees help to reduce the carbon in the air and provide us with fresh oxygen. Plants and even some animal toxins are used in many medicines.

So biodiversity is really penting for our health and the health of future generations too. We need to do our part to ensure the biodiversity this earth has to offer is protected to ensure our survival. And by “our” I mean humans, animals, plants, dan lain-lain!

Here I come to save the environment dll.

Let’s face it – if one species were to be responsible for having the worst impact on biodiversity, we humans would win hands down! Sometimes, I think we’re too powerful for our own good tbh.

We’ve torn down forests, poached animals and caused way too much pollution that has threatened so much wildlife — all in the name of development. So I feel like it’s only fair that we do what we can to help the environment and all the species of the world recover.

Here’s 6 things you can do to help stop the loss of biodiversity:

  • Save The Bees!
    I promise this is not a meme! Bees are so important – they pollinate flowers and also contribute to close to 35% of our food supply! So next time you see a bee flying to a flower, jangan halau k – biar diorang buat kerja diorang!
  • Time For A Green Thumb
    If you wanna help the bees and other insects and animals near you thrive, you can even plant flowers, fruits and veggies in your garden. Bees can pollinate, bugs can eat, birds can eat – win, win, win!
  • Jangan Main Air
    It’s important for humans to have water, but it’s the same for other creatures too! Fresh water is essential to protecting biodiversity, so the less we use, the more nature has!
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
    I think you know what I mean, so I tak nak explain panjang-panjang. So here’s just a bonus hack for you – if you bawak your recyclable stuff to a recycle centre, you can get some cash for it which you can donate to an NGO pasal environment Boom!
  • #SapotLokal
    Food and clothing made locally uses less resource and has lower carbon emissions sebab takyah nak naik plane or whatever. So next time you’re feeling hungry, buy from a gerai makan. And if you’re looking to up your wardrobe, kedai bundle berlambak sis!
  • Down with Deforestation!
    Illegal logging and deforestation are ruining the habitat for so many living things, so use your voice to speak out against it. The earth belongs to all of us and we need to stop tearing down mother nature if we want to create a balanced ecosystem.

Seeeee. That’s not too bad kan?

Okay, not gonna lie: restoring balance after centuries of messing with the environment isn’t gonna be easy.

But if there’s something the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear is that this is a time for us to reflect on our impact on the world. Lepas COVID ni, do we really want things to go back to normal? Tak kisah pasal environment and climate change, pollution everywhere, no care for other living things.

Or do we want to come out from this pandemic with a new outlook, using our voices to protect Mother Earth and all her anak? We have the chance to turn things around for the better. And it’s not every day that we get a chance like this. So we should do all we can while we still can.

We’re gonna have to unlearn a lot of habits and make tougher, but better choices. Tapi just remember that protecting biodiversity is key to protecting ourselves too okay? So let’s all do our part. We can do it!

Forest of treesAnd here’s something extra.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, UNEP and TED-Ed together with many awesome partners haves come together to launch “Earth School,” – a free, high-quality educational content to help children and young people go on a 30-day “Adventure” through the natural world. Do it #ForNature, do it for #WorldEnvironmentDay, do it… because it’ll blow your mind!

#YouthforEnvironment  #EarthSchool

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Tati Wira

A 20-something fierce believer of children's rights!
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