The variety of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole) is termed as biodiversity. Biodiversity can refer to the diversity between species, within a species and between ecosystems. The biodiversity we see today is the result of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and, in some cases, the influence of humans. This biodiversity comes together in the chain of life in which we, animals and vegetation play a key role. As the dominant species of the Earth, we are responsible for keeping this chain in order.
There is a deep, unfathomable, intimate relationship between human beings and the natural environment. When disturbed, the elements comprising nature can become imbalanced, causing great havoc. We are rapidly exploiting the environment and in doing so are threatening Mother Nature in many ways. Through this exploitation of natural resources, we have been directly responsible for a rapid loss of biodiversity, alongside climatic degradation. Whilst we are the ones responsible for this degradation, we are also the ones who will experience its impact. Therefore, we must take responsibility and starting acting to preserve the planet.
Our well-being runs hand-in-hand with the well-being of the natural environment. We have only just started to understand that the health of the environment is tied to the level of biodiversity. For instance, let’s us imagine our ecosystem as a woolen blanket. The blanket is made up of thousands of woolen fibers interlinked together. When the blanket is new, it is durable and hard wearing. After lots of use, the links between the fibers weaken and the blanket starts to fall apart. However, if we care for the blanket by stitching over tears and strengthening the fibers, we can enjoy the blanket forever. As they say – a stitch in time saves nine.
Therefore, we can see that our ecosystem is comprised of many interlinking parts; if one part is degraded, so are others. For example, the excessive release of CO2 has triggered climate change. Climate change then affects sea levels, the timings of the seasons, levels of precipitation, and many other variables. These changes adversely affect the habitats and behavior of many different species. Those species who do not adapt to these changes are likely to be threatened with extinction.
Earth is our home and without it, we have nowhere to go. Protecting biodiversity should be in our self-interest. Nature’s products support a wide array of industries, such as, agriculture, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, horticulture, construction and waste treatment. The loss of biodiversity therefore threatens these industries, as well as essential services, such as, food supplies. However, the earth is not only our home, but home to all animals and vegetation. Humans are therefore all responsible for reversing the degradation that we have bought upon the earth and working to preserve our home planet and our neighbors within it.