“If you love photography as I do, biodiversity provides a lifetime of pleasure in unfolding and discovering its complexity. Biodiversity is nothing less than the myriad relationships of plants, animals, fungi, bacteria and, ultimately, people, one to another. It is nature herself, in all her complex glory. When I get my images home from a day of shooting, I’m nearly always amazed at the details that I hadn’t noticed in the field.
Life’s diversity gives us the most basic, and hence, the most important materials that societies run on. Charles Darwin, in his last book, was the first to note that earthworms turn organic detritus into the topsoil with which we grow our crops. Forests hold onto rainfall and distribute it long after the last rains, thereby ensuring a steady supply of fresh water. Cut down those forests and you destroy your water supply. Plants produce oxygen. The list is long. The value of biodiversity may be he hidden to many, but once you begin to see the world through ecological eyes, it becomes clear that it’s immeasurably important.
Beyond these ecological ‘services,’ the complex relationships of species in their day to day struggle for survival has given us great beauty and joy and complexity. Without biodiversity, the world would be aesthetically impoverished, its loss akin to the destruction of thousands of Mona Lisas, except worse.”
—Charles J. Smith, Entrepreneur; Conservationist; Photographer; and EOWBF Board of Directors