Reasons for Conserving Biodiversity

Category: Biodiversity
Published on Sunday, 03 March 2013 11:39
Written by Maggi Kaye
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Reasons for Conserving Biodiversity:

Biodiversity is directly linked to what has become known as “Ecosystem Services”.  These are things essential to life; imagine not having air to breathe, water to drink or soil to grow crops in.  Ecosystem services are things like: production of oxygen, purification of air and water, flood prevention, climate regulation, soil formation, nutrient recycling, photosynthesis and natural pest and disease control.  All these and more we get for free but what if we had to put a price tag on them?  In 1996 it was calculated that the total value of Earth was £34 trillion, and even if we had all that money there is no way we could replace what we already have, but are now beginning to loose. Large scale removal of trees results in soil erosion and land slips; wetlands filter water and help prevent flooding as well as holding water which would otherwise run off into the sea and be lost.  Pesticide use can kill not only pests, but insects that are beneficial in controlling the pests and for pollinating plants.  Pesticide build up in humans is becoming a major issue.

"Everyone in the world depends completely on Earth's ecosystems and the services they provide, such as food, water, disease management, climate regulation, spiritual fulfillment, and aesthetic enjoyment. Over the past 50 years, humans have changed these ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in human history, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber, and fuel. This transformation of the planet has contributed to substantial net gains in human well-being and economic development. But not all regions and groups of people have benefited from this process - in fact, many have been harmed. Moreover, the full costs associated with these gains are only now becoming apparent." (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Summary Report)