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It's entirely up to us

Sailosi Batiratu
Sunday, March 04, 2018

IN our Soul Living magazine today, page 39, we carry and article which touches upon the importance of biodiversity, the materials for which are sourced from an interview with NatureFiji-MareqetiViti director Nunia Thomas-Moko.

During the course of that interview, she touched upon several things,including the theme of International Wildlife Day, which was celebrated yesterday around the world, which she said might not be directly applicable to Fiji, "Big cats: predators under threat".

That being said, what is important is that we can learn from what other countries are doing to protect their endangered species and then apply those lessons to our own conservation work.

That was when the learned lady said something that would serve us well to seat up and take notice.

She said: "We believe that our biodiversity issues need to be locally driven because there is no one else in the world that we can depend on to do this."

The two words that should jump out at us from that bit of text are "locally driven".

You and I, our siblings, cousins, aunties and uncles — that locally driven — that's us.

And why should we all care about birds, flowers, trees, fishes, insects and those kinds of things. The answer is very simple; we all share a common home, these beautiful islands of Fiji.

If we do not take proper care of our island home, then in due time, it will not be able to provide for us. We may not get the yield of crops or catch of marine species we were expecting and then might look for someone or something to blame.

Often we make plans on how to become better people. An idea is to link that plan, that resolution to improve with the environment, with our biodiversity. In this way, as you improve, you help others change for the better because your new actions are actually contributing to a better and healthier physical Fiji.

What we can also learn from what the director said is that we can be responsible for a lot only if we take on the mind-set to become local drivers of change, the good kind.

For example in our families to reduce our reliance on plastics and the proper disposal of our rubbish.

We should not also be limited to the environment and biodiversity in terms of becoming drivers of change.

Change, despite it being resisted at times, is required almost everywhere; the physical health of Fiji and all its species, religion, the economy, in the sphere of politics, in our diet and nutrition, and the list goes on.

In some instances, the change brought about by one person serves its purpose wherever they are. If those results are coupled by results brought about by the change of others, then the effects are multiplied.

But it can't just happen out of nothing, it needs a catalyst and that catalyst is you and me; it's entirely up to us.

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