According to the International Convention on Biological Diversity (ICBD), the conservation of biological diversity is “a common concern of humankind.”
Biodiversity is essential to every facet of our lives:
- The continued supply of our food sources (a topic known as food security) is dependent upon access to different genetic varieties of food crops.
- Diverse and intact ecosystems are essential to the earth’s major cycles of water, carbon, and nitrogen.
- The prevention of infectious disease is depended upon species diversity.
- Biodiversity is essential to the discovery of new medicines and bio-genetic products. (It is estimated that anywhere from 25% to 50% of pharmaceutical drugs on the market are derived from nature.)
- The health of ecosystems depends on the interplay of various life-forms.
- About 80% of the world’s population are living in rural conditions and depend on biological resources to meet 90% of their needs.
- In rural societies, destabilizing biodiversity especially affects women whose traditional responsibility is to domestic sustenance of the family unit, providing food, medicinal plants, and other needs.
- All of us depend on nature to provide social, psychological, physical, and spiritual well-being as nature transcends socio-cultural constructs.
As biodiversity declines, the risk of catastrophic disaster escalates and undiscovered biological resources are lost forever. The relationship between biodiversity and human health is an international political issue as many of the anticipated health risks due to climate change are associated with the degradation in global biodiversity.References - Gender, Climate Change and Biodiversity. GenderCC 2010. Retrieved 2011-09-13. - France, M. Honoré. Rodriguez, Carmen. Re-connecting with Nature: Using Nature in Counseling. - Kingston, David. 2011. Modern Natural Products Drug Discovery and Its Relevance to Biodiversity Conservation. The Journal of Natural Products, 74, 496-511.
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