Loss of Biodiversity

By: Viviana M. Duarte

What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the variety of life. It can be studied at many levels, the highest level being all different species on the entire Earth. The lowest level being in a pond ecosystem or a neighborhood park. Many people organize biodiversity by species, but biodiversity is much more than species. I will explain.

What are the Causes of Loss in Biodiversity?

There are many complicated reasons as to why their is a loss in biodiversity. The reasons being habitat changes, disease, climate change, pollution, collection by humans (like being captured and/or taken to the zoo), and a thinned ozone layer in our atmosphere.

Impact on Ecosystems

Biological diversity is the resource of which families, communities, nations and future generations depend on. It is the link between all organisms on earth, intertwining each into an interdependant ecosystem, in which all species have their own important role. The Earth’s natural assets are made up of plants, animals, land, water, the atmosphere and humans. Together we all form a part of the planet’s ecosystems, which means if there is a biodiversity crisis, our health and livelihood are at risk too. Biodiversity loss has a direct impact on our lives. Reduced biodiversity means millions of people face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease, and where fresh water is in irregular or short supply.

Challenges

While the idea of saving the environment has gotten political acceptance over the past few decades, people still misunderstand and ignore the goods and services that nature, biodiversity and ecosystems provide to us. The importance of well-working ecosystems in helping lower poverty and improve livelihoods, societies and economies is very clear to scientists. This information needs be considered into the decisions and actions of local, national and international policy makers in all sectors, as well as business leaders. The World Conservation Union continues to get better understanding of what natural ecosystems provide to humans, but the Union also looks to ensure this information is used in practical ways by bringing together scientists, policy makers, business leaders and NGOs to impact the way the world values and uses nature.