Luc Janssens de Bisthoven / Coordinator of CEBioS programme

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences / Biodiversity and development cooperation

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

I am very concerned and aware of the the climate and biodiversity crisis we are facing nowadays and it makes me rather pessimistic. Especially when I walk in the countryside or in the forests in Belgium, I miss some bird songs I heard in my youth, some 40 years ago. What is 40 years for nature, for the evolution, for ecosystems? That shows the acuteness of the crisis. The lack of small flies on the car windows is a good indicator of the dramatic decrease of insects. This probably explains the disappearance of birds. But also, many birds are migratory and may face threats in their winter quarters as well. I remember dozens of dead birds on a road in Senegal after a massive spray by an airplane of insecticides against a huge swarm of grasshoppers, and that was in 1986! I am also very much concerned about the lack of sense of urgency with a generation who never experienced the ‘sense of wonder’ when hearing, say a lark high in the sky. The disappearance is not only physical, but also in the collective memory and imaginary. For me bioidversity and climate change cannot be separated. I admire and encourage the ‘bosbrossers’.
I feel quite helpless: we still have a car, but living in Brussels, I use public transports. I still fly a lot for my work and privately. My wife and I eat mostly vegetables and fish, but sometimes some meat. We try to buy as much bio as we can, but get frustrated by the plactic packaging of the bio products! Nevertheless, since we wash our clothes with some natural products and filter our tap water, we managed to reduce our plastic waste quite substantially. We also use the communal service to take the organic waste, and use lots or organic waste for our garden compost. Al this together meant a drastic reduction of our waste to one third, quite spectacular in fact!
We planted a lot of flowers and some fruit ttrees in our city garden and we keep the fallen leaves as protective layer, attracting many insects and birds. We see a nice transformation of our garden. A insect hotel attracts the rare bees as well. This gives me some hope, that we can all contribute at our small individual level. The politicians need to have more courage to lead our society to a circular economy.

Originally posted 2018-06-06 02:58:35.

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