Essay on Biodiversity

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Biodiversity

INTRODUCTION Franck and Brownstone define biological diversity as 'the variety and variability of living organisms and the biological communities in which they live' (36). Decades of progress in both the scientific and political arenas have advanced environmental legislation to protect biodiversity at not only the ecosystem level, but for specific species and genetic material as well. Research has shown the importance of every organism and their role in the global ecosystem, and legislation has gradually matured to protect not only species which may become endangered, but the habitats they need to survive as well. Growing consciousness surrounding environmental issues has enabled these protections to be
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Simultaneously, thousands of other species across the globe face the same threat: extinction. Biodiversity is an essential part of our world, our global ecosystem. As Planet Earth?s resources diminish and its creatures vanish, those who recognize the need to preserve what is disappearing look to international politics to accomplish what individuals cannot. The most important instrument for implementation of international policy has been the Convention On International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which went into effect in 1975.

The plight of the rhinoceros is not unlike the all-too-familiar danger that the elephant faces. Illegal trade is greatly responsible for the endangerment of the species. Valued for their ivory horns, over 90% of the five rhino species have disappeared, while the rest continue to dwindle. The worth of one rhinoceros horn is $44,000, and the demand remains high in the countries of China, Taiwan, South Korea and in the Middle East. In East Asia, the horns are regarded as powerful medicinal tools, known to cure everything from nosebleeds to food poisoning. In a powdered from, the horn is thought to be a powerful aphrodisiac. Similarly, the animals? genitalia are also considered extremely valuable.

Existing rhino populations continue to decline. In East Africa, the Black Rhinoceros

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