Saving wildlife for future generations a mission worthy of Noah’s Ark
Ambitious is one word to describe the proposal to build a R102-billion conservation park in KwaZulu-Natal, outlandish might be another.
But the world has changed and advanced, and in this case, we hope, saved, by those with the supposedly outlandish ideas, not those who stick to the safe and known.
Of the need for such a facility, where species from around the world will be hosted in familiar environments, there is little doubt.
According to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, at least 15 000 of the estimated eight million species on Earth face extinction, and scientists agree that the extinction rate is perhaps thousands of times higher than the rate at which this should happen naturally.
With many countries slow or reluctant to adopt measures to halt climate change, there is little doubt that many more land and sea animals, plants and insects will disappear unless drastic action is taken, action which might include the creation of bio bubbles to preserve species.
While there might be questions about the cost and sustainability of a venture which relies on sponsorship and some tourism (the Covid-19 lockdown hardly makes such ventures attractive investments), this is the type of thinking which may be required to ensure that future generations also experience the wildlife we enjoy today.
In the face of intransigents who refuse to acknowledge the disaster occurring around us, it appears that, centuries after first saving humans and animals, Noah's Ark may be required to come to the rescue again.
The Independent on Saturday