World Biodiversity Day: Promote the health of our subsurface ecosystem


It’s World Biodiversity day, and as countries around the world work towards halting the spread of a virus, there is another global crisis that needs your attention and action; that is biodiversity loss. “Global economic development, population growth, and high waste generation have all dissolved the boundaries between humans and natural ecosystems,” says Brian Küsel from BiobiN South Africa. “Right now we can all start with composting our food waste, to help promote the microbiological diversity in soil, and to avoid food waste going to landfill.”

Here is why this is important:

Landfill degrades biodiversity. When food waste goes to landfill it starts to break down, releasing odour and other liquid pollutants. This attracts a population of unwanted rodents to the area. When the unwanted rodent species acts as the dominant species within the area, this will negatively influence the presence of other species.

Liquid pollutant, known as leachate, is formed as a result of food waste breaking down. This has the potential to pollute groundwater resources and rivers; which will adversely impact all species which are dependent on that water source. “To avoid landfill leachate polluting our water resources, we really need to change what we send to landfill,” says Küsel. “Let’s start with our food waste.”

Composting promotes the biodiversity within soil micro-ecosystems. You’ve composted your food waste, and now it’s ready to be added to the soil. Nice! You’re promoting a healthy and fertile subsurface ecosystem. Adding compost is important for air, moisture and nutrient retention; all the ingredients that create a perfect environment for the millions of different microorganisms to thrive.

“Promoting the health of our country’s soil is so vitally important. It is not just for the benefit of the environment and biodiversity; our own food security depends on healthy soil,” says Küsel.

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