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Biodiversity is the diversity of various types of life and species inhabiting the planet. It is present in all spheres of life. Biodiversity involves all organisms, including complex animals, plants, and microscopic bacteria. The increment in the human population has significantly disturbed the balance between species, causing the extinction of some of them. Biomass extraction is intensified due to the increase in human population, thus resulting in the loss of biodiversity and, eventually, causing ecological imbalance. Human activity, pollution, climate change, overexploitation of resources, and global warming are some of the major causes of the loss of biodiversity. There are several possible actions that, when executed properly, can help reduce the loss of biodiversity. Humans and animals need biodiversity on a daily basis for their survival.
The Causes of the Loss of Biodiversity
The major causes of biodiversity loss have been attributed to human beings since they have deeply altered the environment. One of the main causes of biodiversity loss is pollution. It is evident that human activities have direct and indirect negative impacts on nature and alter the way energy flows in the ecosystem. In addition, pollution alters the physical and chemical constitution of the species and environment (Cardinale et al., 2012). Further, climate change negatively influences biodiversity as well. For instance, when the Earth’s surface experiences extraordinary heat, the life of the majority of species becomes endangered. Climate change especially affects those species that had adapted to living in the mountains and cold regions.
Overexploitation of resources is another reason of biodiversity loss. Mankind has been exploiting various species and environment for many centuries. When activities associated with harvesting and capturing a renewable natural resource within a particular area intense, it is possible for the resource to become exhausted. A good example is the case of herrings, cod, sardines, and tuna. The loss and alteration of habitat, mainly due to human activity, and global warming also negatively impact biodiversity. If global warming continues to develop at the current rate, some species can become extinct (Hens & Boon, 2005). The same may happen if their habitat alters so much that it becomes hostile. Lastly, invasive species, organisms that move from one environment to another, may cause biodiversity loss by facilitating the extinction of the species living in those environments.
Possible Actions to Conserve Biodiversity
Early intervention and prevention are the most cost-effective and successful ways of tackling the so-called invasive species. Once these species are established, eradicating them through the use of chemicals is not necessarily effective. Further, governments have to support the conservation of biodiversity and sustainability by establishing institutions and projects that would study and deal with the issue. In addition, the society should be informed of the benefits that come with conserving biodiversity (Cardinale, 2012).
Moreover, it is important to address the indirect and direct drivers of biodiversity, which will help in protecting ecosystems. The possible actions could include adapting to climatic changes, promoting sustainable intensification of agriculture, and limiting the increase of nutrients levels, especially in the soil and water. Finally, establishing protected areas should be a significant role of conservation programs (“Biodiversity & Human Well-Being,” 2015). For these protected sites to be successful, they should be chosen carefully. All regional ecosystems should be well presented in them. Further, these areas need to be effectively designed and managed.
In conclusion, biodiversity is significant for human well-being and ecosystem services. Biodiversity provides material welfare, resiliency, security, health, social relations, choices, and freedoms. At the same time, the loss of biodiversity and the associated changes within ecosystem services have made some people experience declining well-being and forced some social groups into poverty. Human beings need biodiversity to satisfy basic needs, such as food, drinking water, medicine, shelter, and fuel. Most of the actions put in practice to conserve biodiversity and preserve its sustainable use have been successful in minimizing biodiversity loss.