The United Nations announced 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity, and people all over the world are working to safeguard this irreplaceable natural wealth and reduce biodiversity loss. This is vital for current and future human wellbeing. We need to do more. Now is the time to act. The International Year of Biodiversity is a huge opportunity to increase understanding of the vital role that biodiversity plays in sustaining life on our planet.
Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth and the natural patterns it forms. Biodiversity supplies humans with a huge amount of goods and services that sustains our lives however we are exploiting theses services. Protecting biodiversity is in our self- interest. As these products we get from nature supports many industries such as agriculture, paper, construction, cosmetics, medicine, wood, horticulture and many more. The loss of biodiversity will threaten all of these industries, our food supplies, prospects for recreation and tourism, along with sources of energy. The main threat is that it interferes with essential ecological functions.
We are losing biodiversity due to many reasons, the main reason is loss of habitat through changes of land use i.e. the conversion of natural ecosystems to industrial land; it continues to be the biggest threat to biodiversity. Other reasons include climate change which has been predicted to become more of a threat to biodiversity within the next decades and Global warming is changing habitats and distribution of animals. Over Exploitation is another threat where the use of an ecosystem or species is being used unsustainable. Many species are used to fill human’s basic needs and because they are being used at unsustainable levels, the decline is species are widespread and high in numbers. A huge threat to biodiversity is pollution along with invasive species as they are a threat to endemic species.
So the loss of biodiversity reduces the productivity of ecosystems, making them become weak and less able to deal with natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes etc. Also reducing our resources that we have become so dependent on.
In 1992 at the Rio conference, the convention on Biological Diversity was the first global agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, over 150 governments had signed this agreement where 187 countries have approved this agreement. The main goals of the convention are:
The conservation of biodiversity
Sustainable use of the components of biodiversity
Sharing the benefits arising from the commercial and other utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way
So 2010 is the year to change our actions and to help achieve these goals.
To celebrate 2010 Year of Biodiversity, ORCA will be making a massive poster where all children can contribute something towards it and this will continue for the whole summer. I will keep you posted on how it goes.
ORCA Wildlife Officer