Introduction by Simon Stuart
Life on earth is a complex set of delicately balanced ecosystems. In some ways, it represents a house of cards. Almost every one of the millions of uniquely patterned cards supports others. Some are beautiful and others are plain. Regardless of where they sit or how they look, they are all connected.
Humanity sits proudly at the top of this house. Below us are the millions of unique species – plants, animals, fungi, and others – which all have a role in supporting us. From time to time a species dies out from, for example, disease, decreasing habitat, or human use. Every time this happens, our world is weakened.
Occasionally an ecosystem collapses with dramatic effects. This process is speeding up. Scientists and concerned individuals are hard at work finding out as much as they can about the natural world. The more we learn, the more clearly we can see what must be done. Rolex, through its Awards for Enterprise, supports this critical work to protect the precious flora and fauna upon which our world is built.
Simon Stuart is the Chair of the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission.