From a fairy tale to a horror story

Lion King, Dumbo and Bambi aren't just characters of children’s stories. They are also real animals, species that could become extinct. What if magical fairy tales suddenly became horror stories? The threat is real and we have to do everything we can to stop it from happening.

Living on Earth without gorillas, elephants, bears, whales, dolphins, birds, insects, trees or plants would be a veritable nightmare. Like something right out of a horror movie. However, if we do nothing, the threat of a looming tragedy grows.

It is up to us to save the planet. And we don’t need to call on super-heroes or mythical beings, like Tarzan, for help. All we need to do is make sure that we each change our behaviours so that we can halt the destruction caused by humans, such as global warming and climate change.

Facts about the conservation of species

The alarm was sounded by the United Nations (UN), whose latest study reveals that one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction within just a few decades. As there are roughly eight million identified species, the threat of extinction has a very significant impact.

The human population continues to grow and the exploitation of resources has reached unprecedented levels:

  • 33% of fish stocks have been harvested at unsustainable levels since 2015, according to the FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).
  • Primary forests decreased 7% between 2001 and 2018, an area the size of France and the United Kingdom.
  • In 2018 alone, 12 million hectares of tropical forest were lost (according to Global Forest Watch), nearly a third of which was primary forest and the 3.6 million hectares lost in a year were enough to cover all of Belgium.

Regarding the threat of pollution, the UN says that plastic waste in the oceans already threatens 86% of sea turtles, 44% of seabirds and 43% of marine mammals.

What are the consequences?

The calculations and predictions in the ‘Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ also indicate, for example, that 10% of insects are threatened with extinction, which could have devastating consequences on the pollination of food crops. In other words, the human race could be left without fresh fruits and vegetables from one moment to the next.

The scientists warn that the world needs to adopt a new attitude to safeguard the very foundations of our economies, such as livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life on Earth.

The path to change lies in each one of us, individually. This change also needs to happen for the sake of future generations, who will be living on this planet long after we are gone. And we owe it to these future generations to ensure that the stars of stories like The Lion King, Dumbo and Bambi continue to roam the Earth, not only in books and movies, but especially in their natural habitats.