Biodiversity provides us with essential ecosystem services through its diverse nature. It maintains balance in the ecosystem, as each species are interdependent with each other. Sadly, this balance is disturbed due to the loss of species, climate change, pollution, disease, overexploitation etc. Every year on 22nd May ‘International Biodiversity Day’ is celebrated to promote global awareness of issues related to the planet’s diversity. This year it is a decade celebration with a theme ‘our solutions are in nature’. The day theme shows biodiversity is the solution for facing sustainable challenges. Hence, biodiversity remains the basis for sustainability to climate, food, water security, and sustainable livelihood.
Importance of Biodiversity
Healthy ecosystems - The loss of biodiversity weaken the ecosystem and are likely to provide fewer services especially in the growing human population. For an example- Kenya ‘s Lake Turkana- the world’s largest desert lake with habitat for a variety of wildlife including birds, Nile crocodiles and hippos, and source of food and income for about 300,000 people. Now the lake is under pressure because of overfishing, drought, changing rainfall patterns leading to a loss of biodiversity. The healthy ecosystem reduces pollution, protection for water reservoirs, more fertile soil, pollination, etc.
Solution for Climate change - Diverse nature can provide more than 30% of the solution to climate change by holding global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Some ecosystems such as the wetland ecosystem particularly mangroves are good carbon storage sources and keeping it out of the atmosphere which contributes the climate change. these forests also provide crucial buffers to extreme storms and floods. The resilience of climate change is only possible when biodiversity is intact.
Build a strong economy - The food, commercial forestry, and ecotourism industries could lose USD 338 billion per year if the loss of biodiversity continues at its current place. The communities in developing countries who are dependent on high-biodiversity ecosystems for food, fuel, medicines, and other natural products for their use or as a source of income. Nature-related tourism has now become a significant income generator. The biodiversity will resolve the resource scarcity problem.
Declining biodiversity will hamper our socio-economic. To preserve our biodiversity we need to implement an integrated sustainable conservation management plan which needs the involvement of the government, communities, NGOs, experts, etc. Apart from the conservation management industry needs to incorporate sustainable practices in their operation to reduce its environmental impact. Protecting biodiversity will ensure the sustainable relationship betweenthe humans and nature for the generations to come.