If you are asked to be a tour guide for one day and the destination is Leiden, what will be your choices of things to do in Leiden ?
As mentioned in the video, Hortus botanicus is definitely one of the most worth-visiting places in Leiden. Hortus botanicus is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands. It is like a green oasis located in the historical centre of Leiden with a massive collection of plants, the origins of which can be traced back to Asia and South Africa. Besides the symbol of historical significance, biodiversity is the spotlight of Hortus botanicus. More than ten thousand botanical species and dozens of bird species are growing and living there. Hortus botanicus plays an important role in the cultivation and preservation of endangered species. Along with foreign botanical gardens, threatened species are researched and preserved through cooperation.
But it is far from enough to only spread the importance of biodiversity in academia. Well, with the increasingly large amount of academic research, the importance of biodiversity has drawn extensive attention among scientists. There are enormous biology publications illustrating the essential role of biodiversity to human beings as well as to biosphere. In the past few decades the rate of biodiversity loss has been increasingly high. All scientists in biology know that biodiversity is important and we cannot afford large biodiversity loss and biodiversity has to be preserved because biodiversity loss leads to our financial loss, but the public awareness is too low to perform actual, practical change.
Preserving biodiversity is not merely a mission for scientists to accomplish. We can do a lot better with the participation of city residents. Hortus botanicus has gathered professional researchers to study and preserve endangered species. Other institutes have issued articles trying to rise the public awareness, too. But let’s face it, how many of us read articles when we don’t have to? Many environmental protection organizations have created events inviting citizens to make effort into preserving biodiversity. For example, 22 May has been named as International Day for Biological Diversity. However, even on the most popular social platform Facebook, there are only 667 likes on the page of International Day. There are still a lot more to do to rise the public awareness and promote civil participation.
To rise the public awareness of the importance of biodiversity, we need to drag scientists out of academic buildings and give lectures and record videos to spread the words. As part of our proposal, we would like to invite scientists to give lectures as a way to rise the public awareness. Lectures will be given in relaxing and amusing ways to keep the audience interested. After the lectures, presents will be given away. Presents include a bag of plant seeds and a brief introduction of how to take care of plant, inviting the audience to grow more green in their own places and gardens. Besides, Hortus botanicus can serve as a place to publicize practical, down-to-earth measurements to help biodiversity at our homes and gardens. Although helping biodiversity is important, I believe people still don’t want to go through too much trouble to make an effort.
What future is there for global biodiversity? We will find out when we make effort together.