How can I promote species diversity?

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Do you want to do your bit for biodiversity and the variety of species on our planet? Our checklist contains some easy things you can do throughout the year. Follow our tips to create a sustainable habitat for animals and plants.

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity, short for biological diversity, encompasses three aspects: genetic diversity,  species diversity and ecosystem diversity.  For us as humans, biodiversity is crucial to our existence. Animals and plants perform important functions that sustain life on earth. They supply us with sources of food, they provide active ingredients used in medicines, they offer us recreational and leisure opportunities and they play a vital role in regulating the climate – we simply couldn't do without them.

What does species diversity mean?

Species diversity refers to the variety of living organisms on earth such as fungi, microorganisms, plants and animals. It is in existential symbiosis with the other two levels of biodiversity. Genetic diversity within an individual species makes this species more resilient and adaptable. If species are lost – caused, for example, by changing ecological conditions in their natural habitat –  this changes diversity and genes.

Status of biodiversity in Switzerland

Despite established measures, biological diversity in Switzerland has decreased dramatically since 1900. These losses pose a threat not only to the  Swiss population, native plants and fauna rich in different species, but also to national economic output. The decrease is manifesting itself at all levels of biodiversity.

  • There are around 230 habitat types in Switzerland – and almost half of them are under threat.
  • Ecological quality continues to decline in most habitats and biotopes.
  • Switzerland is home to some 56,000 known species – 39 of which exist only in Switzerland.
  • The genetic diversity of many species that live in the wild continues to decrease. In the case of cultivated plants, genetic loss has been stopped.

The Federal Office for the Environment has prepared further information on the status of biodiversity in Switzerland (German).

Checklist: How you can promote species diversity

The following overview, divided into the four seasons, contains easy things you can do to preserve and promote species diversity in Switzerland. We've put together the key do’s and don’ts for you throughout the year.

Tips for spring

Species diversity – tips for spring

Species diversity – tips for summer

Species diversity – tips for summer

Species diversity – tips for fall

Species diversity – tips for fall

Species diversity – tips for winter

Species diversity – tips for winter

What the experts say: Every little bit helps!

Even with small steps, private individuals can have a positive influence on biodiversity and help protect the natural environment. These changes at the local and regional level benefit the structures that underpin globally networked biodiversity as a whole.

  • Teaser Image
    Sophie Kreutzberg

    Sophie Kreutzberg is a Project Leader at Mission B. She advocates for more biodiverse gardens to protect Swiss natural areas and the diversity of plants.

Sophie Kreutzberg’s personal tips you can implement at home:

  • Build an insect hotel
  • Cultivate a flower meadow with native plants
  • Take care in choosing plants that bloom at different times throughout the year so that insects can always find something to eat.
  • A combination of small flowering plants, climbing plants and shrubs for extra biomass is ideal.
  • Create small structures using materials you have readily available, e.g. leave plant stems lying on the ground over the winter to provide shelter for insects when it gets cold.

With these easy-to-implement initiatives, you can create a valuable habitat for native animal and plant species on your balcony or in your garden. Companies can also make a contribution to protecting species and promoting biodiversity by bringing greater attention to the topic, by advocating for better information and education, by providing financial assistance and by acting as a role model for others.

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