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The continuous growth of the human population and consumption have caused an unviable exploitation of Earth’s biological heterogeneity. This exploitation has been exasperated by climate change, ocean acidification, and many other anthropogenic habitat impacts. Conservation, which is the preservation of the natural environment and wildlife, is necessary for human survival. Radical changes need to be taken to recognize biodiversity and integrate them into consumption and production policies. If harsh measures are not taken to protect and conserve wildlife, then all species will become extinct.
This will certainly result in a fatal impact for humanity. As a wildlife ecology major and extreme conservationist, I firmly believe that a cause of action needs to be taken to preserve the Earth.
Why, might you ask, is conservation so essential? Wildlife, which includes all species of plants and animals, is imperative to maintain ecological equilibrium on our planet. Ecosystems are connected in food webs and are all affected by one another. Even if only one species becomes extinct, it still disturbs the balance of nature in the food chain.
This can lead to disastrous results. For example, the number of bees has become reduced. Bees are essential to the Earth because they pollinate plants, which is necessary for growth. This reduction of bees results in less plants being grown because they are not being pollinated.
Biodiversity provides many essential aids to society like material goods (food, water, timber, medicine), supporting structure functions (flood control, climate regulation, nutrient cycling), and nonmaterial benefits such as recreation.
Biodiversity contributes to the farming industry by pollination and pest control and provides carbon storage and sequestration. By providing resilience to disturbance and environmental changes, biodiversity secures benefits from nature. The economic benefits of natural ecosystems are 100 times more than the cost of maintaining them (Science 2). However, there are pressures on biodiversity that enable its loss.
The key pressures that drive biodiversity loss are things like overexploitation of species, pollution, invasive alien species, climate change and the degradation of species’ habitats. Shifts in agricultural patterns like excessive land use and the over abstraction of water have put further pressure on biodiversity. Industrial development and infrastructure have resulted in the confinement of remaining terrestrial biodiversity. Marine diversity is also under duress. Losses in fish population and marine habitats are a direct result from overexploitation of marine animals, poorly managed aquaculture, and habitat damage from coastal development. Biodiversity will only continue to face challenges. Anthropogenic activity, increasing climate change, and further human resource demands inhibit growing biodiversity. Climate change results in species being forced to shift their ranges, and this disrupts their ecological environments. Increased levels of carbon dioxide have also threatened coral reefs because of ocean acidification. Intelligent and careful decisions must be made regarding increasing demands for food production from continuous human population growth. Severe negative impacts will occur if measures are not taken to conserve and protect the environment. It is easy to see why conservation is so crucial to the world, and why we must act to save our planet.
What kind of conservation methods, might you ask, are effective in maintaining biodiversity? Well, one method would be to articulate biodiversity in federal and confidential decision-making. The value and importance of the environment should be considered by the government. The government should also remove deviant subsidies that are damaging to biodiversity, such as the ones in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. Threating both the fishing industry (worth $80 billion to $100 billion per year) and the 27 million people that depend on it, fishing subsidies overexploit two thirds of fish stock around the world. (Science 3). Another method would be to spread conservation awareness globally. Demonstrating to the public how crucial this issue is will enable people to take further actions on conservation and preservation. Simple things like recycling and disposing of wastes properly so that the ground or water does not become poisoned can help maintain biodiversity. Reducing the use of fossil fuels and switching to other renewable methods of energy will eliminate large amounts of energy use. Also, deforestation is a major issue. Planting trees and preserving forestry can help resolve this problem. Conducts for species, such as targeted habitat management, removal of invasive species, captive breeding, and reintroduction have provided remarkable successes. For example, at least 16 bird species were protected between 1994 and 2004 by the means of conservation. (Science 3). Taking these conservation measures into account can result in the growth of biodiversity throughout the planet.
The difficulties of acknowledging social and behavioral framework for biodiversity conservation are alarming. Humans are far too focused on wealth creation and economic growth, rather than including biodiversity in common measures of well-being. The road to sustainability will not be an easy one, but it is necessary to ensure a future for the environment. Conservation practices and other environmental policies must address all issues. The reduction of carbon and material throughput is crucial in all economies if we are to make viable and democratically satisfactory trajectories of confinement and convergence in using resources. We must also recognize that biodiversity and functional ecosystems are established by successful human development plans. Governments, businesses, and society must make biodiversity a central role to human well-being and the quality of life. This will secure sustainability in the flow of nature for present and future generations.
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