Biodiversity is the variety of all life on Earth, encompassing genetic, species and ecosystem diversity. Today’s biodiversity is the fruit of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and, increasingly, by the influence of humans. To date, about two million species have been identified on Earth.
Biodiversity supplies a large number of goods and services that sustain human life, including the provision of food, fuel and building materials; purification of air and water; stabilization and moderation of the earth’s climate; moderation of floods, droughts, temperature extremes and wind forces; generation and renewal of soil health; maintenance of genetic resources as inputs to crop varieties and livestock breeds, medicines, and other products; and cultural, recreational and aesthetic benefits.
Over the past few hundred years, biodiversity has faced major challenges, including a growing demand for biological resources caused by population growth and increased consumption. This increased exploitation of biological resources has resulted in the loss of species at levels currently estimated to be 100 times faster than the natural rate of loss prior to significant human intervention. Though many species were lost and new ones formed, it is likely we will lose all this natural wealth in less than two centuries, if the present rate of biodiversity losses persist.
The biodiversity and its conservation is the important global issue of international concern. Recognition of this problem has made scientists and policy makers to work and develop mechanisms to document, conserve and sustainably use biodiversity.
The younger generation should be made to realize the critical state of biodiversity today and volunteer to protect and conserve it, so as to enable the future generations get to enjoy the benefits of Nature.