"Biodiversity is the food we eat, the water we drink, and it is also the air we breathe. More than that, biodiversity is part of us, as we humans are part of it." - Dr. Christina Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biodiversity
This year's International Day for Biological Diversity is highlighting biodiversity as the foundation for our food system and overall human health. According to the Center for Biological Diversity (Partner of SF Green Film Fest), diversity is facing a growing number of national and worldwide threats, from the global problems of an unsustainable human population to climate change. As our ecosystems suffer from encroaching human influence, diversity is squandered.
Luckily, as humans, we cherish our own health and wellbeing - and biodiversity is at the heart of sustaining them. As the struggle to maintain a diverse biosphere grows larger, the decisions we make will directly influence the health of both our planet and ourselves.
Check out these 3 films that explore how and why preserving diverse habitats is a key catalyst for transforming food systems and improving human wellness:
(1) Into the Okavango (2018)
In Into the Okavango, Director Neil Gelinas shows us that we have the power to protect, and we have the power to destroy. This 2018 film follows a team of modern-day explorers on their four-month, 1,500-mile expedition across three countries to save the river system that feeds the Okavango Delta, one of our planet’s last wetland wildernesses. The Delta supplies water to over 1 million people, the world’s largest population of African elephants and significant populations of lions, cheetahs and hundreds of species of birds. The biodiversity of this region is at stake.
(Neil Gelinas, USA, 2018, 94 min.)
(2) Chasing Coral (2017)
Jeff Orlowski's Chasing Coral delivers a drama-packed reality check on the state of our planet's ocean life. The notoriously colorful habitats of coral reefs are turning to gray at astonishing rates. The bleaching effects of pollution and excess CO2 have driven the previous life from these reefs and left them barren - relics of a not too distant past.
With biodiversity teetering on the edge of nonexistent, watch as this team of divers, photographers, and scientists set out on an astonishing trek to discover and reveal the urgent problem for the whole world to see.
(Jeff Orlowski, USA, 2017, 93 min.)
Available on Netflix.
(3) Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman (2017)
In this Times best-seller inspired film, watch as a Montana rancher, Kansas farmer, and Louisiana commercial fisherman work to conserve the natural environments which are the backbones of their business and our food system. Threatened by commercial development, soil degradation, and overfishing, these individuals represent the unlikely spirit of ongoing conservation efforts amongst the "culprits" of biodiversity destruction themselves.
These unsung heroes are working to preserve the same land that they work on. In their efforts, they are setting the stage for a diverse and sustainable future for our global food production system.
(Susan Froemke & John Hoffman, USA, 2016, 92 min.)
It's never too late to take action and work to reduce our impact on our diverse biosphere. Take a moment today to reflect on the ways in which biodiversity keeps you healthy, happy, and alive!
Check out The Center for Biological Diversity (SF Green Film Festival partner), to find out what is being done to protect, preserve, and fight for our planet's unique ecosystems!
Take action at https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/