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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The mesh of life: Biodiversity and species protection around hotel gardens

North American raccoons in Europe, Indo-Pacific green algae in the Mediterranean Sea, and European rabbits in Australia are just a few examples of invasive species that have been introduced by humans threatening and displacing native species. Increasing deforestation and desertification also menace the biodiversity of plants and animals worldwide. According to the United Nations, 8 percent of all known animal species are already extinct and 22 percent are currently threatened with extinction. Various magnolia and orchid species are also on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In order to protect biological diversity, the 15th Goal of Sustainable Development of the United Nations, “Life on Land,” hence includes the conservation of biodiversity.

All-embracing variety

Biodiversity describes the diversity of life on earth as well as the appearance of these life forms. Diversity is often understood as the variety of plant species, animal species and microorganisms, but also includes the genetic uniqueness of each individual and the diversity of existing ecosystems. As a result of thousands of years of evolution, today’s biodiversity constitutes the mesh of life. That is why every part in this network has its own meaning and purpose; every living being is a component of it and depends on it equally. With small or large gestures, everyone can protect biodiversity – Green Pearls® partners demonstrate how to design gardens in order to protect biodiversity.

Pollen on fragile wings

The hotel garden of the organic Agrivilla i pini is cultivated according to the principles of permaculture. Thus, animal welfare and the preservation of old, endangered fruit and vegetable species are important here. In addition to the various nesting places for bats and insects installed on the property, hedges are deliberately planted, grass is mowed rarely, and stone heaps and small biotopes made of branches are built up to offer wild animals shelter and a quiet habitat. Since agriculture is also done manually, animals can linger undisturbed in their natural habitat. Furthermore, organic vegan agriculture implies that neither chemical nor animal fertilizers are used harming the environment or the animals. In the garden of the SCHWARZWALD PANORAMA, bee and insect hotels as well as birdhouses offer a cozy home. Further nesting boxes for birds are located on the hotel roof. In spring, a beehive extends the hotel garden and the whole property transforms into a flower meadow.

Animal welfare – the Thai way

Built respecting the surrounding nature, the Zeavola Resort on Koh Phi Phi primarily supports the native birds living in the rainforest around the hotel. Presently, 18 different bird species live here. In specially designated quiet habitats, local fruit trees serve as food sources, and, above all, injured birds receive medical treatment. Employees take lost monkeys sighted in the resort’s forest back to the national park. Every year, Zeavola is involved in coral cleaning campaigns to rid the sensitive marine animals of pollution.

Healthy forests, healthy animals

Colorful flowers and numerous animals are at home in the cloud forest and its gentle hills and rushing waterfalls surrounding the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. With 372 native species, the largest collection of orchids in the world can be found in the breathtaking garden. More than 214 bird species, Andean bears and insects also live undisturbed on the almost 5 hectare site in their natural habitat. Visitors can explore the rich nature and the healthy ecosystem of the cloud forest on excursions and learn about the importance of biological diversity and environmental protection. The Inkaterra Asoiación, an organization of the hotel group, is likewise responsible for passing on this knowledge.

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