Blog Post by Amaris Norwood, Intern in our DC Office
It’s Almost Earth Day!
As Earth Day approaches, we can take this time to reflect on the current environmental state of the planet. From habitat loss to climate change, from poaching to illegal animal trade. Over recent years, we have seen species decline. At the same time, we’ve seen habitats and species regenerate. Marine restoration, reforestation, and other conservation and preservation efforts are to thank for this. At times, we’ve even been fortunate enough to discover new species.
In knowing that the natural world experiences both regression and progression, we can examine the current threats that the planet is facing while learning how and why certain areas have recovered or remained successful. By staying in tune with current environmental events, whether positive or negative, we can strategize for the future. While understanding how and why certain areas experience success, we can apply this knowledge when finding solutions for struggling areas.
What Can We Do?
There are several approaches individuals, communities, institutions, and governments take when celebrating successes and managing environmental issues. Some choose more focused, local approaches, where others expand their mission across borders. When choosing an approach, we must decide how to pave our courses of action. In my studies, I’ve repeatedly found how the most successful projects incorporate well-rounded knowledge of the issue at hand. The question that remains is how can we, or a group or an institution of some sort, expand our knowledge on specific ecological issues?
A simple way is staying updated with news reports and further comparing the current environmental state with that of the past. Other ways include becoming involved in conservation or other environmental quality projects. Volunteering or other hands-on learning opportunities, for example, provide more immersive educational experiences. Furthermore, hearing and learning about the perspectives of people living in areas that face or have faced environmental threats is invaluable. First-hand accounts are crucial for a well-rounded understanding of the current state of the environment.
What’s Happening at Osa Conservation?
In my time at Osa Conservation (OC), I’ve learned how the organization works to educate people, whether through on-site volunteering opportunities or through updating social media followers and subscribers on various environmental successes and projects. But something I consistently see as a factor in all of OC’s projects is a collaboration with different fields and groups of people.
Osa Conservation works with local communities to increase the organization’s understanding of issues the Osa Peninsula faces, as well to properly educate people about these issues. Furthermore, the organization wouldn’t be able to achieve its conservation successes without its volunteers. OC’s volunteers, visitors, and research assistants help carry out the organization’s mission and goals by working with projects at the biological station.
Because of these efforts, Osa Conservation can say that within the last year, they’ve planted over 40,000 native trees, helped release 14,700 baby sea turtles, dedicated 46,000 hours towards river education, and are leading one of the largest camera trap networks in Central America. Though combatting environmental issues can seem intimidating, especially for an individual, we must remember how success cases have triumphed over threats. As seen above, staying educated on environmental issues, spreading knowledge about these issues, and collaborating with others are the key factors in environmental accomplishments. If we keep this in mind this Earth Day, and for the rest of the year, we can continue moving forward toward a more environmentally-conscious and preserved world.