The Caha Centre celebrated the International Day for Biological Diversity on the 22nd May with a special workshop for children aged 5+. This year the theme focused on Marine Biodiversity and the workshop gave children an opportunity to share what they know about their own sea and shore environment on the Beara penninsula as well as have fun through arts and crafts in creating a Marine Life poster and individual fish and jellyfish. The workshop was funded by Cork Environmental Forum and facilitated by Jessica Mason
Why Marine Biodiversity?
The survival of marine and coastal ecosystems and biodiversity is essential to the nutritional, spiritual, societal and religious well-being of many coastal communities. But even for the many millions of people who may not think that they have any strong reliance on the ocean, marine ecosystems and wildlife provide all kinds of benefits.
Without life in the ocean, there would be no life on Earth.
The ocean world is in all our daily lives:
- Sponges from the Mediterranean have been used for painting, cooking, cleaning and even contraception for at least 5,000 years.
- Substances derived from seaweeds stabilize and thicken creams, sauces, and pastes, are mixed into paint and used to make paper and even in skin lotion and toothpaste.
- Many marine plants and animals also contain a multitude of substances already being used, or identified as being of potential use, in medicines.
Most importantly of all, tiny marine plants called phytoplankton produce energy, like plants on land, through photosynthesis. As a result of that photosynthesis, they release oxygen. In fact, phytoplankton release half of all oxygen in the atmosphere. Read more about the diversity of our oceans in the following publication: