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Essay

Kezia Murlie

Year-Prize: The 13th Eco-generation Environmental Essay Competition     Item: Time for Nature

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KEEPING BIODIVERSITY SUSTAINABLE SO THAT
THE LIFE CYCLE CAN TAKE PLACE

Kezia Murlie (Indonesia)
Honorable Mentions

 

 

Biodiversity is not only iconic and charismatic wildlife, but is the diversity of various forms of life on earth, including various plants, animals, micro-organisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems they form to top predators and entire ecosystems. It refers to genetic variation, ecosystem variation, species variation within an area, biome or planet. With respect to various habitats, biotic communities, and ecological processes in the biosphere, biodiversity is essential in several ways including promoting the aesthetic value of the natural environment, contributing to our material well-being through utilitarian values by providing food, animal feed, fuel, wood and drugs. Organisms depend on it for air to breathe, food to eat, and water to drink. Wetlands filter pollutants from water, trees and plants reduce global warming by absorbing carbon, and bacteria and fungi break down organic matter and fertilize the soil. It has been demonstrated empirically that native species richness is linked to ecosystem health, as is the quality of human life.
Biodiversity ecosystem services are maintained through the formation and protection of soil, water conservation and purification, maintenance of the hydrological cycle, regulation of biochemical cycles, absorption and breakdown of pollutants and waste materials through the decomposition, determination and regulation of the world's natural climate. Despite the benefits of biodiversity, the current threats to species and ecosystems are increasing day by day at an alarming rate and are almost entirely due to human mismanagement of biological resources often triggered by careless economic policies, pollution and insidious institutions. one other than climate change. To ensure intra and intergenerational equity, it is important to conserve biodiversity. Some of the existing biodiversity conservation measures include; reforestation, zoological gardens, botanical gardens, national parks, biosphere reserves, germplasm banks and adoption of breeding techniques, network culture techniques, social forestry to minimize pressure on exploitation of forest resources.
The existence of humans who are very dependent on biodiversity, and if biodiversity begins to extinct
life on earth will be threatened, so that three important points are obtained why we need to protect
biodiversity, namely: i) The importance of biodiversity to human health. Genetic diversity in food systems
provides the basis for crop development and food security, and increases resilience and resistance to
environmental stresses including pests and diseases of plants and livestock. ii) Biodiversity supports food
security, dietary health, livelihood sustainability. Loss of biodiversity on a global scale is an immediate
threat to our health and well-being. Without a healthy global environment capable of supporting the
diversity of life, no human population can survive. iii) Biodiversity conservation is very important for
climate change adaptation. Climate change will have a variety of significant impacts on human health,
many of which are directly related to climate impacts on ecosystems.
Although biodiversity, in essence, has to do with genes, species and ecosystems, it is also related to
issues far beyond the confines of biology. Understanding the threats to biodiversity and offering solutions
to them necessitates insights from the socio-economic and applied sciences. The major source of the recent
interest in diversity of life on earth arises from the feeling of a rapid decline in biodiversity. Extinction of
species is part of an evolutionary process. However, during recent times, extinction rates are ten to a
hundred times higher than during pre-human times. Biodiversity loss and associated changes in the
environment are now faster than ever in human history and there are no signs that this process is slowing
down. Almost all of Earth's ecosystems have been dramatically distorted and altered by human activity and
are constantly being transformed for agriculture and other uses. Many animal and plant populations have
decreased in numbers and geographic distribution. However, species extinctions are a natural part of Earth's
history, but human activity has increased extinction rates at least 100 times compared to natural rates. The
loss of biodiversity is caused by various driving factors. The driving factors are: (i) The loss of habitats.
Loss of tropical forest is the most highly published aspect of this. Elsewhere, rivers and are impounded,
coral reefs destroyed by dynamite and natural grasslands are ploughed. ii) Climate change. This is of great
concern especially when global CO2 increases in the atmosphere resulting to global warming. Most
species originate within a very narrow physiological limit; hence nature has a range of tolerance
maintained for ecosystem stability. Changes may be gradual or abrupt such that if the limit is exceeded the upper or lower, species suffers extinction. Recent changes in climate, such as warmer temperatures in certain regions, have already had significant impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem. (iii) Over-harvesting by (illegal) hunting, and the systematic cutting of wood for heating purposes, or charcoal production, are other reasons for biodiversity loss. The use of medicinal plants might illustrate this point.
Biodiversity is the life support system of our planet - we depend on it for the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. For example drugs of wild species, including penicillin, aspirin, taxol and quinine, have saved millions of lives and alleviated tremendous suffering. In addition, wetlands filter pollutants from water, trees and plants reduce global warming by sequestering carbon; bacteria and fungi break down organic matter and fertilize the soil. It has been observed that native species richness is related to ecosystem health, as is the quality of human life. The link between biodiversity and our sustainable future appears the closer we look. We really need to conserve biodiversity because our lives depend on it. The strategic goals suggested for biodiversity conservation, namely: addressing the root causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across governments and communities; reducing direct pressure on biodiversity and promoting sustainable use; increasing the status of biodiversity by maintaining ecosystems, species and genetic diversity; increasing benefits for all from biodiversity and ecosystem services; improving implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building.

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