Woodlands, Natalya Critchley
Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. It includes all living things, from plants and animals to bacteria and fungi. Biodiversity is important for many reasons, including:
- Ecosystem services. Biodiversity provides a range of ecosystem services that support human well-being such as air and water purification, nutrient cycling, and soil formation.
- Food security. Biodiversity is essential for agriculture and food production, providing the genetic diversity needed to breed crops that can adapt to changing environmental conditions. Many of the things we rely on for our survival, such as food, medicine, and building materials, come from plants and animals.
- Medicine. Many medicines are derived from plants and animals, and the loss of biodiversity could result in the loss of potential medical treatments. Biodiversity helps to keep pests and diseases in check by providing natural predators and competitors. For example, ladybugs eat aphids, which are pests that can damage crops.
- It helps to maintain healthy ecosystems. Biodiversity helps to keep ecosystems healthy by providing a variety of functions such as pollination, seed dispersal, and nutrient cycling. For example, bees pollinate crops that help to ensure a food supply.
- Climate regulation. Biodiverse ecosystems can help regulate the Earth’s climate by sequestering carbon and producing oxygen.
- Economy. About 40% of the world’s economy is related to natural resources: food, forestry, and ecotourism. Also, a considerable percentage of the food crops rely on pollination from diverse animals and insects such as bees.
- Cultural value. Biodiversity is simply beautiful and inspiring. It is a reminder of the amazing diversity of life on Earth. It is also a source of wonder and curiosity.