The biodiversity reflects to the diversity of life on Earth at all scales, from genes to ecosystems, and can add the ecological, evolutionary, and cultural processes that support life.
Humans and the variety of human cultures are considered to be an element of biodiversity by the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation. The idea acknowledges that the ecological systems, of which human groups are a part, are influenced by human use, knowledge, and beliefs, and that they in turn are influenced by them. Given that they all help to preserve a globe that is diverse and healthy, all biodiversity—including species, landscapes, and cultural ties to the places we live, whether nearby or in other countries—is significant to our wellbeing.
Importance of biodiversity :
Biodiversity is essential to the systems that support all life, including human existence, on Earth. Without a wide range of different species of animals, plants, and microorganisms, we cannot have the healthy ecosystems on which we rely to provide us with the air we breathe and the food we eat.
In soil, microbes are prevalent and play a crucial role in the release of nutrients that plants need to grow and that we ultimately consume. The majority of people’s needs for animal protein are met by the ocean. Because humans rely on biodiversity in so many different ways, it must be protected. One-third of the world’s food production is attributed to pollinators like birds, bees, and other insects, according to estimates. Without pollinators, we wouldn’t have apples, cherries, blueberries, almonds, or many other fruits.
In addition to other sophisticated compounds we use on a daily basis like latex and rubber, medicines are also made from plants. It is becoming increasingly clear that spending time in nature benefits both physical and mental health. There is evidence that cities with more trees and greenery had lower rates of hospital admissions, less stress, and lower blood pressure.
How is climate change affecting biodiversity?
The loss of biodiversity is mostly caused by humans’ continuing exploitation of the land, especially for food production. More than 70% of all ice-free terrain has already been altered by human activity. When land is utilised for agriculture, some animal and plant species may lose their home and go extinct.
Hotter temperatures on land have forced a lot of animals and plants to move to poleward latitudes or higher altitudes, which has had a significant impact on ecosystems. The likelihood of species extinction rises with every degree of global warming.
Climate change influences ecosystem health and has an impact on how illnesses, plants, animals, and even human settlements are distributed. The likelihood of a virus spreading to humans and animals may rise as a result. Reduced ecosystem services, such as the loss of natural resources utilised for food, medicine, and livelihoods, may have an effect on human health.
Why is biodiversity essential for limiting climate change?
The atmosphere retains about half of the greenhouse gas emissions brought on by human activity, with the other half being absorbed by land and ocean. Together with the biodiversity they sustain, these ecosystems serve as natural carbon sinks and provide what are known as nature-based solutions to climate change.
For example, forests have the ability to contribute almost two thirds of the total mitigation potential of all nature-based options when they are protected, managed, and restored. Despite enormous and ongoing losses, forests still cover more than 30% of the planet’s surface.
Over the coming ten years, it might be able to increase nature’s capacity for absorption.Peatlands, which are wetlands like marshes and swamps, only make up 3% of the world’s land surface. Despite this, they hold twice as much carbon as all the woods combined in the globe. The preservation and repair of peatlands depend on keeping the carbon from oxidising and drifting into the atmosphere.
For instance, seagrass and mangrove ecosystems are up to four times more effective in storing atmospheric carbon dioxide than terrestrial forests. Because they can capture and store carbon, mangroves are a very valuable resource in the fight against climate change.
Biodiversity Threats :
Over the past century, as humans have increasingly taken over the planet, ecosystems have changed quickly and biodiversity has decreased significantly all across the world. As a result, some have started to call the time period we are currently experiencing the “anthropocene.” Although extinctions and changes have always happened on Earth, their current rate is unprecedented. The primary risks to biodiversity include habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pollution, direct exploitation of non-sustainable resources, and global climate change. The root causes of biodiversity loss, like an expanding human population and excessive consumption, are typically complex and the outcome of a number of interconnected factors.