Various reports suggest that there is an unprecedented decline of biodiversity. What are the factors which led to loss of biodiversity?

Model Answer

Biodiversity is a term that refers to the number of genes, species, individual organisms within a given species, and biological communities within a defined geographic area.

Thus, loss of biodiversity is a decrease in biodiversity within a species, an ecosystem in a given geographic area, or Earth as a whole.

As per WWF report, our planet has lost 68% of biodiversity in last five decades. Of every 10 biodiversity species population, the planet lost seven in the past five decades. The brunt of it was borne by freshwater species, whose population went down by a staggering 84%.

Factors:

  1. Natural biodiversity loss:

Natural ecological disturbances, such as wildfire, floods, and volcanic eruptions, change ecosystems drastically by eliminating local populations of some species and transforming whole biological communities.

However, such disturbances are temporary because ecosystem have adapted to such changes.

  1. Human driven loss:

Biodiversity losses from disturbances caused by humans tend to be more severe and longer-lasting. The major anthropogenic factors are-

  1. Land and Sea use change resulting in habitat loss and degradation.

Example: Agriculture land use is responsible for around 80% of global deforestation.

  1. Pollution, which makes the environment unsuitable for survival.
  2. Overexploitation of species and other resources.
  3. Climate change which is either making the species unable to survive or forcing them to migrate.
  4. Introduction of invasive species directly or indirectly, which compete with the endemic species.

Biodiversity loss has many consequences, not only for the environment but also for the human being at the economic and health level. Biodiversity is being destroyed faster than it can recover. Thus, it is high time that all nations should follow Paris climate deal in letter and spirit, implement SDG goal 14 and 15 and move towards sustainable, cleaner economy.

Subjects : Environment

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