Advocating the promotion of nature conservation policy and management of natural resources

“At a time when the human species consumes billions of dollars in hopes of discovering the least life out on Mars, the only place in the universe where we know life is rapidly losing its recognizable character, its biodiversity, diversity of genes, species and ecosystems.” – Elliot A. Norse and Larry B. Crowder

… and so, even today, the media, politicians and corporations whose mouths are full of biodiversity, conserved nature and sustainable use of natural resources, seem to make the vast majority of the Earth’s inhabitants still unimaginable to the significance of biodiversity. Somehow people hardly think about biodiversity as our natural capital, our life insurance that provides us with food, fresh water and clean air, medicines, a roof overhead, how it lessens the impact of natural disasters, disease and pests and contributes to climate regulation. In other words, as one joke says, “If you do not understand why we need to preserve biodiversity, try to keep your breath as you count the money.”

To bring you closer to the “field situation” we will mention that today’s rate of extinction is 100 to 1000 times higher than ever in the Earth’s past. It is estimated that 60% of the world’s ecosystems are degraded or unsustainable, 75% of the fish stock has been overtaken or significantly depleted. From 1990 until today, 75% of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost. About 13 million hectares of tropical forests sliced each year. About 20% of the tropical coral reefs have disappeared and if the current climate intensity continues until 2050, even 95% of this important habitat will be endangered. We spend natural resources 1.6 times faster than Earth can rebuild. If we continue this way in 2050, we will use resources 3 times faster than our planet can handle. In other words, we will use resources as if we had three Earth planets.

Only Earth will not disappear, nor Earth will need to be saved. The earth is quite good. The question is when we are going to become one of the species that disappears due to our own behavior and plunder.

Because of this, the world’s governments are investing in developing smarter and fairer ways of managing natural resources and more effective legal frameworks, but they are often affected by various lobbies or under the pressure of thirst for new profit, regardless of the price we all pay together.

Civil society organizations such as the Association Sunce are here on the scene. At a global, regional, national and local level, civil society organizations represent the “interests” of nature and the public when making decisions, strategic plans, laws and other legal documents.

We are in this case a “guard dog” who plays a role in involving all interested parties in the decision-making process; advocating the principle of sustainable development; encouraging a more equitable distribution of welfare resulting from nature protection; information, raising awareness and education about the importance of biodiversity and the role of the individual in its preservation; gathering knowledge, sharing knowledge, experiences and good practices in managing natural resources and encouraging the inclusion of scientific knowledge in decision-making and interdisciplinary approach to nature conservation.

Activities of the Association Sunce aimed at the protection of nature and sustainable use of natural resources:

  • Development of protected area management plans
  • Organizing lectures, trainings, seminars and workshops for capacity building, knowledge, skills and exchange of experiences.
  • Collection and sharing of basic data on biodiversity distribution and habitat status (habitat maps, species lists, species and habitat monitoring, …)
  • Involving stakeholders and collaboration with local communities in the management of protected areas, types and habitats.
  • Encouraging cross-sectoral cooperation in the development of legislative mechanisms and effective management policies.
  • Participation in working bodies and public debates when making strategies, plans, measures, laws, rules and regulations.
  • Advocating for the development of sustainable fisheries and the establishment of effective zones permanently excluded from fisheries inside and outside marine protected areas.
  • Development of a system of visiting the natural areas in accordance with the capacity of the ecosystem.
  • Creating leaflets, brochures, video and photo materials as well as organizing lectures and public events.
  • Informing the public through the media.
  • Exchange of experience, information and joint action with other civil society organizations.
  • Communication with stakeholders from various sectors that have links and affect the state of nature.