Protecting endangered species is critical for a healthy ecosystem. An endangered animal or plant can serve as early signs of environmental changes and pollution, which can negatively affect the human population as well as other wildlife. Losing a single species can cause a chain reaction in our environment, which may prevent us from developing new medicines and foods.
If you own a business, there are things you should know about endangered species and the regulations that serve to protect them.
Understanding Endangered Species
According to the United Nations (UN), up to one million species, both animals and plants, are threatened with extinction. Unfortunately, humans are responsible for 99% of endangered species. As human populations continue to grow and urbanize, natural habitats are being eradicated, resulting in the loss of food, shelter, and breeding grounds for many species. Illegal wildlife trade is another major cause of endangered animals.
Protecting endangered species is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach. Habitat restoration, conservation education, sustainable development, wildlife law, and protected areas are just some of the solutions to this pressing problem.
The U.S. Congress passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973 which is one of the most powerful legal tools for protecting endangered species of any nation. The Act has been able to protect 99% of the fish, wildlife, and plants it protects from extinction. The law requires federal agencies, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the NOAA Fisheries Service, to ensure that actions they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitats of such species.
There are pros and cons of the Endangered Species Act. On the pro side, the Act raises awareness of endangered species and helps protect the environment. On the con side, the Act is very strict and sometimes interferes with economic necessities and implements, in some cases, extreme land restrictions.
In addition, states protect wildlife under their own endangered species or species of concern conservation laws. Some of these protect specific species while others are focused on protecting the species’ habitats.
Best Practices for Businesses
We’ve all heard the phrase, “extinction is forever”. Businesses can choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution. If every business changed just a few of their practices, it is possible to save many endangered species, which in turn could save our fragile ecosystem.
1. Identify Your Full Environmental Impact
As a business, it is important to understand the organization’s impact on the environment and not just its carbon emissions. Take a materials assessment to fully understand the complete impact and how the companies that produce those materials rate in their environmental policies.
2. Buy/Sell Eco-Friendly Products
As businesses, we can be more aware of what we buy, sell, and use to make our companies run. If we avoid potentially damaging products for the environment, we can have a less harmful impact on all species, including those on the endangered species list. In order to do this, make a habit of reading all labels, and make sure the production process does not involve environmentally dangerous practices.
3. Spread Awareness
What can your business do to spread the word? Be creative. Involve your employees, and ask for their ideas. Be a voice on social media. Have fun and make a difference at the same time.
4. Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce (The 3-R Rule)
Plastic waste is a powerful pollutant and can negatively affect wildlife habitats – in the ocean and on land. If you buy materials for your business, try whenever possible to make sure the packaging (and its content) is made from recycled materials. The same goes for products you sell. Have you tried second-hand products? Reducing the energy our business consumes can also help the environment, as well as save money.
By challenging your business to adapt to the 3-R rule, you could have a huge impact on our entire ecosystem.
5. Think Before You Act
Every business can do its part. Before any decisions are made that could possibly impact our environment, think and discuss within your company. Many heads are better than one. The more people you open it up to for discussion, the better feedback you will get.
Strategies for Sustainable Development
Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Here are three strategies that most businesses can adopt.
1 Use of Input-Efficient Technology
Input-efficient methods and techniques can be implemented so that more production is possible at per unit of input. This efficient utilization leads to lesser exploitation of our natural resources.
2. Use of Environmental Friendly Fuel
Fuels like gas and diesel emit huge amounts of carbon dioxide that add to the greenhouse effect. In order to control pollution, the use of compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or liquefied natural gas (LNG) should be promoted when feasible.
3. Use of Renewable Resources
Florida is well enriched with sunlight, water, and wind energy. These are the free gifts of nature that are non-exhaustible and pollution free. It not only solves the problem of economic growth but also that of sustainable economic development.
Together, We Can Protect Florida
I’m Rob Robinson, and as a 5th generation Floridian, I love everything about the Sunshine State. I’m an avid outdoorsman and enjoy the natural beauty of Florida. That being said, sometimes conducting business can be at odds with environmental laws and local policies. Sometimes, communities can overstep their boundaries as well. I believe businesses and the environment can coexist in harmony, and I will bring the highest level of commitment and advocacy when representing you. For over three decades, I have dedicated myself to bringing individualized care and attention to every client.
Please contact my office as soon as possible to schedule a consultation with me.