Biodiversity is executed when there is a balance in the variety of the population of all species. Every participant in the ecosystem has a unique contribution and failure to co-exist is consequential for the rest. This paper discusses the benefits of biodiversity and the threats it is exposed to.
Plants and animals grant medicinal value to human beings. Diseases have pushed researchers to find solutions that are positioned in the biodiversity. For instance, morphine used for pain relief is extracted from the Poppy plant and quinine that treats malaria is a product of Cinchona tree. As medical researchers are seeking to find treatment for the cancer epidemic, timber in the tropical rainforests remain the focus and give a promise of finding the ultimate cure. Animals have played a critical role in discovering medical solutions despite being a subject of controversies. Rats have often been used to test the viability of drugs before being used on humans. In most cases, they are injected with the virus causing the illness and the medication administered after that. If it works on an animal, it can then be used on humans. Animals provide means of transport, leather made from its skin is used to make shoes, and its products have been a source of food. Similarly, plants are a source of energy, fuel, paper, and fragrances. Ecotourism, where individuals spend time enjoying forests, animals, and nature offers recreation facilities for human beings. Ecological stability is a product of a balanced biodiversity that makes human life productive and bearable. Players in the ecosystem help to boost soil fertility, pollinate flowers, decompose wastes, and purify water and air (Pe’er et al., pg. 1091, 2014). Plants similarly help to prevent disasters like soil erosion, drought, and soil erosion. Biodiversity also reflects the ethical standards that human uphold towards other species. For instance, people will not destroy different species as they respect their rights to existence.
Human activities threaten the biodiversity of species since land that was previously inhabited by other species have been converted to be used for other purposes. Industrialization has seen wastes being dumped in water bodies, which threatens the lives of marine life. Consequently, people keep losing an essential source of food and nutrients when fish die as a result of waste toxins. Human beings are also exposed to health dangers when they consume polluted water. Deforestation has disrupted the global water cycle, and burning of forests increases the amount of carbon in the atmosphere significantly (Phelps, Webb, & Adams, pg. 498, 2012). Carbon is harmful when inhaled by humans as it exposes them to the risk of contracting respiratory diseases. Inconsistent water cycles dry up water bodies that are depended on for drinking water, fishing, farming, and recreation. Cutting the trees that offered wind protection and prevented soil erosion exposes humans to natural disasters. The trade involving wildlife products threaten the survival of non-domesticated animals. The value placed on ivory and reptile skins is the reason why poachers invest in killing wild animals. Climatic changes brought by environmental degradation make life unbearable especially for aquatics when the water temperatures elevate (Butt et al., pg. 425, 2013). The destruction of the ozone layer also makes the sun too hot to support productive farming.
The benefits of biodiversity are priceless and show that the role of each species should never be underestimated. Threats that plants and animals are exposed to hit the human eventually. Therefore, it is critical that humans desist from intentionally destroying the other lives because a balance in the ecosystem is crucial for them as well.
Phelps, J., Webb, E.L. and Adams, W.M., 2012. Biodiversity co-benefits of policies to reduce forest-carbon emissions. Nature Climate Change, 2(7), pp.497-503.
Pe’er, G., Dicks, L.V., Visconti, P., Arlettaz, R., Báldi, A., Benton, T.G., Collins, S., Dieterich, M., Gregory, R.D., Hartig, F. and Henle, K., 2014. EU agricultural reform fails on biodiversity. Science, 344(6188), pp.1090-1092.
Butt, N., Beyer, H.L., Bennett, J.R., Biggs, D., Maggini, R., Mills, M., Renwick, A.R., Seabrook, L.M. and Possingham, H.P., 2013. Biodiversity risks from fossil fuel extraction. Science, 342(6157), pp.425-426.