A rapid loss in biodiversity has continued to be a key issue for many countries, including South Africa. Treated as a global issue, the 30×30 NOW campaign aims to double down on the 15% of land and 15% of freshwater that is currently protected.
Urbanisation, unsustainable resource consumption and high waste generation are all factors that we urgently need to deal with if we want to make any sort of progress towards the 30×30 targets.
Looking at organic waste management, BiobiN South Africa talk about how composting can play a role in biodiversity conservation.
Composting recycles carbon
The natural carbon cycling is something that drives the natural functioning of all ecosystems and is essential for all life on earth. Unfortunately, carbon can also play a destructive role through anthropogenic activities that release carbon dioxide and methane emissions. We already know the role that carbon emissions play in global warming and how this affects ecosystems.
Composting organic waste on-site enables carbon to be captured, stored and converted into a beneficial form. On-site composting units also reduce the need to transport waste off-site, saving more carbon emissions.
Sustainable waste management protects freshwater resources
Poor waste management puts our freshwater systems at risk of contamination, this includes both surface water resources and groundwater. Out-of-sight should not mean out-of-mind, and it is important for us to understand that the hydrogeological cycle links all freshwater resources. If one freshwater body becomes contaminated, it will also have ‘downstream’ impacts.
Illegal dumping failed, landfill liners and agricultural runoff are all circumstances that have contaminated water sources.
The key is to contain waste and implement an effective monitoring system like our BiobiN units.
Promoting indigenous biodiversity
While it is crucial to prevent biodiversity loss from the impact of poor waste management, we should also be implementing a circular system to promote indigenous biodiversity. The concept of a circular economy can be easily scaled down to close an organic waste loop on-site.
High-grade compost from BiobiN units is often used on-site in indigenous gardens. Compost can improve the soil quality and water retention, contributing to a water-wise indigenous garden.
According to the science highlighted by the 30×30 NOW campaign, if 30% of land and freshwater resources are protected, we will not only halt biodiversity loss but also recycle enough carbon at a rate that will significantly slow climate change.
For this to happen, we encourage businesses to responsibly manage their waste streams, especially organic waste, so that it plays a beneficial role in the environment and biodiversity.