Biodiversity : Threats and Ways to Overcome Them
Biodiversity: Threats and Ways to Overcome Them
Question : The more biodiversity is negatively impacted, the closer humanity comes to extinction. Highlight the threats to biodiversity and what can be done to overcome them.
• Wide variety of earth’s species including flora and fauna are vital to ensure the world’s ecosystem remains healthy, thriving and balanced
• Biodiversity ensures natural sustainability for life on the planet for example abundant crops and fresher air
• Protecting the ecosystem and ensuring access to resources by poor and vulnerable groups is the key to ensuring food security as well
Threats and Solutions
• Threats to biodiversity range from invasive species to climate change. Each of these are discussed further.
• Changing climate through planet’s history will alter life on earth in the long run
• Rapid, manmade climate change will speed up the extinction process without giving natural habitats and humans as well as other species time to adapt for instance, rising ocean temperatures and melting Arctic sea ice will impact marine biodiversity and shift vegetation zones while having international implications
• Climate is a major factor in impacting the distribution of species across the planet
Solution: People can combat climate change by reducing their carbon footprint and promoting ecological education and awareness.
International governments and cities can lead the way and climate change conventions and conferences can promote greater efficiency amidst nations for combating climate change
Deforestation and loss of natural habitats
• Deforestation causes extinction and loss of biodiversity
• Estimated 18 million acres of forest fall prey to logging, industrial activities and destroy the ecosystems where species reside
• Tropical rainforests such as the Amazon hold a large percentage of the species on earth and their destruction will eliminate natural balance
Solution: Companies and corporates as well as governments need to adopt best practices and refrain from using paper and timber supplies which contribute to deforestation. People can also put pressure on retailers who follow unsustainable manufacturing methods. Stronger forest protection laws will also help.
Overexploitation of Resources
• Overfishing and over-harvesting can damage biodiversity in significant ways. Poaching and extinction of species can destroy the food chain and result in catastrophe for ecosystems
Solution: Conservation and awareness about overexploitation of resources is a must. Individuals should also follow rules against such practices.
Rise of invasive species
• Introduction of invasive or non native species into the ecosystem can damage endemic wildlife either through the means of predators or competition for resources. This can adversely affect human health and upset fragile ecosystems.
Solution: Invasive species must be destroyed so that new infestations can be countered
• From air pollution to dumping of plastic into oceans each year, pollution is a major threat to biodiversity. Pollutants can also affect the habitat and health of species
• For instance, acid rain caused by burning fossil fuels can damage species and their habitat
Solutions: Combating pollution through recycling, conservation and awareness is the key
Facts and Stats
• More than 3 billion people in the world rely on marine and coastal biodiversity for their existence
• Around 1.6 billion people rely on forests for their livelihoods
• Loss of biodiversity will also impact more than 1 billion persons living in drylands
• Biodiversity is essential for welfare of current and future generations