Now or Never for Biodiversity
by mckaylalennox on October 7, 2016 - 6:40pm
The most important, yet overlooked, global issue all species are facing currently isn't climate change or poverty but biodiversity loss. Biodiversity is what makes the world we all live in, livable. Without biodiversity there would be no life at all, and I think this fact alone should be a huge wake up call for current and future generations. It is the web of life, allowing us the water we drink, the food we eat and the nature we depend on. Biodiversity has been diminishing because of human impact, and this needs to change. All of the environmental issues we face, we face because of human impact resulting in biodiversity loss, they are inextricably linked. Biodiversity loss can refer to a number of species, including insects, mammals, plants and more. These are crucial for human survival and undoubtedly Earth’s survival.
On July 15, 2016 BBC News published a compelling and visual article written by science writer, Robert Thompson, titled “Scientists warn of ‘unsafe’ decline in biodiversity”. The purpose of this article is to provide current knowledge on biodiversity loss to inform policy makers, and to hopefully have a debate on how to use the Earth’s land. One of the main actors involved would evidently be the government, due to their direct influence on land and conservation issues as well as legalities. The other actors involved are current and future generations. Every ecosystem is dependent on another and as a species ourselves we are dependent on all living organisms wether we are aware or not. It is a fact that, “losing more than 10% of the biodiversity in an area places the local ecosystem at risk.”(Thompson) In the article it states that, “58% of the world’s land coverage already falls below this safe level.” (Thompson) Theres no more time we can afford to wait and see the future impacts associated with human impact causing biodiversity loss. This loss will majorly “reduce the resilience of ecosystems in the faces of environmental changes such as global warming.” (Thompson) Biodiversity loss is perhaps the number one threat we will be facing in the near or far future. Fortunately, there is still time to get back to this safe value of 10% if the government acts soon.
Since biodiversity loss can be caused from a vast number of human impacts, differing from deforestation to ocean acidification, the problem is much larger than most think. Different types of implementation tools and policy instruments were discussed in lecture that I believe relate to this issue of biodiversity loss. With the government being the most influential when it comes to the economy and the environment, implementation tools are a possible step in the right direction to controlling human impact. There are substantive policy instruments which are intended to directly change behavior such as laws and regulations. There are two types which are both useful in this situation, regulatory and economic instruments. Regulatory instruments are the most popular for controlling pollution, managing natural resources and land use planning. This is key for overcoming biodiversity and I feel will help in the long run. There are also economic instruments which focus on taxes for example, on unwanted activities. Personally, this article brought my knowledge on biodiversity loss to a whole new perspective. I believe that the government and society can turn these statistics of biodiversity loss around and allow future generations a life that they deserve. Maybe it will not happen for a few generation, but if we at least try there will always be hope.
Thompson, Robert. "Scientists Warn of 'unsafe' Decline in Biodiversity." BBC News. N.p., 15 July 2016. Web. 07 Oct. 2016. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36805227