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. Without biodiversity, people will starve because there is not much being produced that can be enough for the many people that is currently alive.
The Earth’s natural assets are made up of plants, animals, land, water, the atmosphere and humans! Together, humans form part of the planet’s ecosystems, which means if there is a biodiversity crisis, the health and livelihoods of people are at risk too, which is why people need to find a way in order to create a safe environment for the future generations. If you want to talk about being selfish, be selfish in a good way. And that means taking care of the surroundings that you live in.
Biodiversity loss and its impact on people’s lives
Put simply, reduced biodiversity means millions of people face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease, and where fresh water is in irregular or short supply. Biological diversity is used by many rural communities directly as insurance and coping mechanism to increase flexibility and spread or reduce risk in the face of increasing uncertainty, shocks, and surprises. The availability of this biological “safety net” has increased the security and resilience of some local communities to external economic and ecological perturbations, shocks, or surprises.
Vulnerable way of living
The world is experiencing an increase in human suffering and economic losses from natural disasters over the past several decades. Mangrove forests and coral reefs, a rich source of biodiversity, are excellent natural buffers against floods and storms. Their loss or reduction in coverage has increased the severity of flooding on coastal communities. Floods affect more people (140 million per year on average) than all other natural or technological disasters put together. Over the past four decades, the number of “great” disasters has increased by a factor of four, while economic losses have increased by a factor of ten.
Secure source of Energy no more
Wood fuel provides more than half the energy used in developing countries. Even in industrial countries such as Sweden and the United States, wood supplies 17% and 3% of total energy consumption respectively. In some African countries, such as Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda, wood fuel accounts for 80% of total energy consumption. In rural areas, 95% is consumed in the form of firewood, while in urban areas 85% is in the form of charcoal. Shortage of wood fuel occurs in areas with high population density without access to alternative and affordable energy sources. In some provinces of Zambia where population densities exceed the national average of 13.7 persons per square kilometre, the demand for wood has already surpassed local supply. In such areas, people are vulnerable to illness and malnutrition because of the lack of resources to heat homes, cook food, and boil water. Women and children in rural poor communities are the ones most affected by wood fuel scarcity. They must walk long distances searching for firewood and therefore have less time for tending crops and school.
These are just some of the biggest impact that biodiversity loss can do to people’s lives if not taken care of. Some are already experiencing it, especially in poor countries where lack of control from the government is prevalent. You need to do your part in order to stop it once and for all.