Help insekte só bewaar

Meer insek-ikone nodig, sê kenner

10 February 2020 | Environment

Ter wille van die voortbestaan van die mensdom moet ons ons houding teenoor insekte verander. Hulle bestuif ’n derde van alle gewasse wat ons eet. Hulle help sorg vir gesonde, lewende grond. Ons moet hulle beter beskerm. Ons kan leer uit idees wat reeds ontwikkel is om dit te doen. Ons het meer insekikone nodig.
Só sê insekkenner prof. Michael Samways van die Universiteit Stellenbosch, hoofskrywer van 'n nuwe oorsigstuk in die vaktydskrif Biological Conservation.
“Ons sal nooit elke insekbevolking of selfs elke spesie kan bewaar nie. Daar is egter praktiese, werkbare opsies van regoor die wêreld waaruit ons kan leer hoe om die verdere uitsterf van spesies en spesifieke bevolkings te verhoed,” sê prof Samways, wat internasionaal erken word as een van die dryfvere agter die totstandkoming van insekbewaring as vakgebied.
Beter wetgewing, die voorkoming van omgewingsrisiko's en groter erkenning van die waarde van beskermende gebiede sy aan sy met agro-ekologie, word beskou as van die belangrikste opsies.
“Beskermde gebiede kan buite geproklameerde grense uitgebrei word met behulp van grootskaalse ekologiese netwerke wat onderling deur bewaringskorridors verbind word. Dit het sover baie suksesvol vir insekbewaring in Suid-Afrika gewerk,” sê prof Samways wat pas ’n nuwe boek, Insect Conservation: a Global Synthesis vrygestel het.
Hy sê die toenemende wêreldwye gebruik van volhoubare praktyke wat meer insek-vriendelik is in die landbou- en bosbousektor, en maniere waarop die impak van klimaatsverandering versag kan word, is ook belangrik.
“Bo alles is dit uiters belangrik vir die gesamentlike toekomstige voortbestaan van insekte en mense dat ons beter hieroor kommunikeer, en die burgerlike samelewing en beleidmakers hierby betrek,” voeg hy by.
Hy sê dat benewens kommer oor die verlies aan bye en die bestuiwingsdiens wat hulle lewer, die meeste mense eintlik nie werklik volkome waardeer watter groot rol insekte in die natuur speel nie.
“Gelukkig word die burgerlike samelewing toenemend bewus van die kommerwekkende afname in insekgetalle, en die ernstige gevolge wat dit vir lewe op die planeet inhou,” glo prof. Samways.
“Dis hier waar insekikone soos skoenlappers, naaldekokers en bye ’n groter rol kan speel, tesame met die media, natuurverwante klubs, opvoedingsinstellings en sogenaamde citizen scientists of gewone mense wat navorsing ondersteun,” voeg hy by.
Prof Samways is van mening dat sulke pogings veral belangrik is in stedelike en buite-stedelike gebiede. Dis waar die grootste konsentrasie van mense bly, maar hulle staan dikwels ver verwyderd van die natuur.
“In meer landelike gebiede is daar ook ’n groot geleentheid vir beter opvoeding, veral onder die jonggarde wat nog beïnvloedbaar is, want dis dikwels hulle wat vir hulle ouers daarop wys dat vir jong en indrukwekkend, wat die ouers dikwels onderrig oor wat hul toekoms inhou, end at elke klein lewetjie saakmaak,” is hy van mening.
Die artikel waarvan prof Samways die hoofskrywer was, is getiteld “Solutions for humanity on how to conserve insects”. Dis geskryf hand aan hand met ‘n tweede artikel in Biological Conservation getiteld “Scientists’ warning to humanity on insect extinctions”.
Laasgenoemde wys op die gevare wat insekte in die gesig staar, en hoedat die mensdom sommige ekosisteme sodanig beskadig het dat dit net met uiterste moeite herstel sal kan word nie. Dis onder meer weens ’n verlies aan habitat, besoedeling, insluitend skadelike landboupraktyke, indringerspesies wat sondermeer versprei, klimaatsverandering, oorbenutting en die uitwissing van afhanklike spesies.
Al hierdei faktore het reeds ’n onberekenbare impak op die voortbestaan van insekte gehad. Dit het weer toenemend ’n ernstige invloed op voedselsekerheid, plaagbeheer en die verwydering van afval uit die omgewing.
Dertig wetenskaplikes van regoor die wêreld wat gemoeid is met insekbewaring het tot die twee artikels bygedra.

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