Biodiversity is one of the most important concepts every human being must understand in order to survive on this planet. It basically means that there will be fewer humans if there are fewer animal species all over the world.
The wide range of species worldwide including animals, plants, and microscopic organisms, comprise an essential part of the numerous ecosystems of the world. All these species collectively ensure a thriving, healthy, and balanced world. For example, it is crucial to grow and protect plants that serve as food, shelter from the heat, and create a multi-purpose landscape.
To speak generally, biodiversity makes certain that all kinds of life on earth have access to natural sustainability. We must perpetually think about fresher air and abundant crops through sustainable means. Over 3 billion humans rely on coastal and marine biodiversity. On the other hand, over 1.6 people are dependent upon forestland for livelihood. As a result, the loss in biodiversity will naturally affect the lives of over 1 billion humans residing in drylands.
Complete Safeguard & Access To Biodiversity
The International Day to celebrate Biological Diversity had been celebrated with a special theme by Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General to the United Nations. He chose the theme of Sustainable Development through Sustainable Biodiversity. Ki-moon also informed that biodiversity is of utmost importance to safeguard the present as well as future generations.
He further added that ensuring the complete protection and access of biodiversity to vulnerable and poor communities is crucial. This is mainly because this is the only way of eliminating hunger and poverty globally.
He also explained that it is greatly significant in future sustainable development objectives and to achieve the international growth targets. Biodiversity will ensure curbing the most pressing problems tackled by the UN.
However, there are a few immediate issues today, threatening the planet’s biodiversity. The issues are listed below with some probable preventive measures.
1: Climate Change
Rapid changes in the climate of the planet have definitely transformed the natural course of life and will have a similar impact on the future of global ecosystems. Nonetheless, man-made climate changes are taking place at an exponentially fast pace without offering any time for adaptation. Ocean temperature surge and melting ice caps greatly affects marine biodiversity by shifting vegetation zones. Climate change is forcing mass migrations and invasive species’ threat. Most species are unable to cope and become extinct or highly threatened.
Preventive Measures: Reducing carbon footprint is the most important step to combat climate change. Promoting awareness with the help of governmental and local agencies.
The biggest impact of deforestation is the loss and eventual extinction of biodiversity. A vast amount of forest of almost 18 million acres is lost every year because of logging and human activities. This destroys the natural habitats of numerous native species. Tropical rainforests like Amazons, have a particularly large number of species on a global basis. However, the area is shrinking due to harmful human activities.
Preventive Measures: Policies made by corporations and companies are central to mitigating deforestation issues. They must adopt sustainable practices and curb the use of paper and timber. Individuals must also partake in land preservation activities through charities. Most importantly, international corporations must establish stronger forest preservation laws.
Over-harvesting, overfishing, and overhunting greatly contribute to the loss of biodiversity. Thousands of species have been regularly killed for the past hundred years. Poaching along with other hunting activities in order to satisfy human greed has increased extinction risks. If an apex predator becomes extinct then the entire food chain is likely to be disrupted, causing catastrophic consequences throughout ecosystems.
Preventive Measures: Conservation is a must and people must be continuously made aware of the threats of overexploitation. Government bodies must enforce strict rules against harmful practices. Granting subsidies to fisheries will be helpful.
4: Invasive Species
Introducing non-native species in an ecosystem will threaten prevalent wildlife. If non-native species suddenly invade a foreign region, the native species become highly vulnerable. This will harm human health as well as disrupt economies.
Preventive Measures: The Federation of Natural Wildlife has suggested creating new systems in order to prevent invasion by non-native species. New infestations must be strictly monitored and rapidly eradicated. Some of the scientists also make use of more creative methods to monitor such phenomena.
Fossil fuels are increasingly being burnt which is releasing harmful amounts of chemicals into our atmosphere as well as depleting the ozone levels. The oceans are also being dumped with 19 billion pounds of plastic waste each year. Such destructive practices are destroying the ecosystems of this planet. Even though these phenomena might not essentially cause extinction, the pollutants certainly have the potential of changing the habits of many species. Burning fossil fuels causes acid rain that acidifies small organisms in the soil and water.
Preventive Measures: An average human being is capable of doing several things in order to combat and prevent hydrological and atmospheric pollution. Recycling, increasing use of public transport, and conserving energy are a few of the measures to curb environmental risks to biodiversity.
Hence, it is obvious that the earth is rapidly moving towards a global catastrophe. In case, we take urgent and stringent measures against the widespread practices choking our biodiversity, we shall soon witness cataclysmic events.