Every ecosystem around the world is bursting with life.
Everywhere you look, you can see a community of different species sharing a habitat and relying on each other for resources to survive.
This is called biodiversity: when many different species live together in an ecosystem.
The higher the biodiversity, the more types of species cohabit and the more stable the ecosystem.
As coexisting creatures and plants rely on each other, having a large variety of species ensures:
FOOD + SHELTER + a HEALTHY AND SAFE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT= A STABLE ECOSYSTEM
As the Earth is one large ecosystem, this applies to us too, meaning human survival depends on protecting our environment so it stays stable enough to provide for us!
So let’s put all these pieces together:
The smallest change to one creature can affect all the other creatures around them, like in a food chain, so preserving nature is a key responsibility among humans, especially as a lot of damage is our fault.
While environmental awareness is increasing, humans have already damaged the world in 3 major ways:
Deforestation provides land for farming and housing, but fewer trees mean fewer habitats and less carbon dioxide gas being absorbed from the atmosphere, destabilising the planet.
The rising human population and higher standards of living mean more waste, creating toxic pollution that reduces biodiversity and leaves the remaining species with less food and living resources to choose from.
Sewage and fertilisers have dirtied our water, toxic gases and smoke are causing air pollution, and landfills are damaging land along with toxic chemicals- basically, humans are messy!
And the one we’re all feeling- global warming! More CO2 and methane in the atmosphere is heating the planet through the greenhouse effect. The hotter the planet gets, the more biodiversity suffers- just think about the polar bears!
We are getting better at helping the planet, but tackling reduced biodiversity locally and globally is a challenge.
The financial burden of new programs and the risk of mass unemployment by terminating eco-unfriendly jobs are putting a huge strain on productive change.
Also, as the population grows, more housing is needed, but the cost of development means more natural habitats have to be destroyed for our sake, so who’s home is worth more: ours or other species also sharing this planet?
A great way to remember all this dry info is:
COSTS of initiatives + UNEMPLOYMENT + DEVELOPMENTS= BARRIERS TO CHANGE
But despite the controversy, some measures are seeing great success.
Ecotourism aims to minimise the impact of humans on natural habitats as a sustainable concept, making sure any new building works benefit the locals as well as tourists.
It also makes sure local communities have a say in how their environment and ways of living may be impacted by tourism to minimise exploitation.
Now click next to have a go at answering some questions on biodiversity!