Biological diversity is the resource upon which families, communities, nations and future generations depend. It is the link between all organisms on earth, binding each into an interdependent ecosystem, in which all species have their role. It is the web of life.
But, according to WWF, we are currently using 25% more natural resources than the planet can sustain. As a result species, habitats and local communities are under pressure or direct threats (for example from loss of access to fresh water). Biodiversity underpins the health of the planet and has a direct impact on all our lives.
The main cause of the loss of biodiversity can be attributed to the influence of human beings on the world’s ecosystem. In fact, according Eniscuola, we have deeply altered the environment, and modified the territory, exploiting the species directly, for example by fishing and hunting, changing the biogeochemical cycles and transferring species from one area to another of the Planet. The threats to biodiversity can be summarized in the following main points:
- Alteration and loss of the habitats: the transformation of the natural areas determines not only the loss of the vegetable species, but also a decrease in the animal species associated to them.
- Introduction of exotic species and genetically modified organisms: species originating from a particular area, introduced into new natural environments can lead to different forms of imbalance in the ecological equilibrium. Refer to, “Introduction of exotic species and genetically modified organisms”.
- Pollution: human activity influences the natural environment producing negative, direct or indirect, effects that alter the flow of energy, the chemical and physical constitution of the environment and abundance of the species;
- Climate change: for example, heating of the Earth’s surface affects biodiversity because it endangers all the species that adapted to the cold due to the latitude (the Polar species) or the altitude (mountain species).
- Overexploitation of resources: when the activities connected with capturing and harvesting (hunting, fishing, farming) a renewable natural resource in a particular area is excessively intense, the resource itself may become exhausted, as for example, is the case of sardines, herrings, cod, tuna and many other species that man captures without leaving enough time for the organisms to reproduce
But we can still do something to change this! Here’s a list of small daily actions that are important to contribute to preserve biodiversity:
- Don’t buy animals and rare plants or objects produced with tortoise shells, ivory, exotic feathers, shark teeth, fur, coral and shells: often their indiscriminate catching threatens the entire ecosystem where they live.
- Avoid killing organisms with no reason: sport fishing isn’t better than hunting!
- Don’t deteriorate the environment.
- Try to avoid all any energy waste.
- Move preferably on foot, by bike and public transport.
- When it’s possible favour recycled products: don’t forget that trees are cut down to produce paper!
- Don’t feed wild animals as you could alter the delicate balance of the food chain and involuntarily cause their death.
Let’s make of our world a better place to live in and stop biodiversity loss!