Millennium Ecosystem Assessment's Summary For Decision-Makers

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The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment’s Summary for Decision-Makers brought to light the fact that the rate of species extinction, over time, has increased at an alarming rate. This is distressing because species extinction means loss of biodiversity: a measure of a healthy environment. There are five main drivers, that are interconnected, that influence biodiversity loss and species extinction. While all five are interconnected they are strongly related to one in particular. That driver is human population size. The other four drivers are habitat destruction, overexploitation of resources, pollution, and the introduction of alien species. Biodiversity loss and species extinction, and the healthiness of the environment, are all influenced by…show more content…
This driver can be explained in many ways. This could mean just over harvesting species in general, which was the case Atlantic Cod fisheries. Atlantic Cod were over-fished to a point where their population number plummeted to a dangerously low level. If changes were not made to the fishing industry then Atlantic Cod could have gone extinct. This overexploitation need not only apply to animals it can also apply to agricultural sectors. If forests are cut down at high rates, for timber, it can cause habitat destruction which can lead to biodiversity loss. This exploitation can also apply to non-renewable resources like oil. The act of collecting the oil can destroy a habitat and destroy species. Also, if there is an accident in the collection of oil and the oil is spilled, habitats can be damaged, potentially destroying them. Overexploitation of resources is influenced by population size and influences habitat loss and can cause biodiversity loss and species…show more content…
Alone pollution can destroy animal habitats and decrease an ecosystem's ability to perform services that keep species alive. The higher the human population the more pollution there is, which means the higher the loss of biodiversity and species extinction. Pollution itself can also harm wildlife. The wildlife can ingest the pollution which can kill the animal. An example would be ocean wildlife or seagulls ingesting plastic waste and dying, or becoming deformed, because of it. Pollution in the form of chemical spills can also destroy entire habitats destroying multiple species homes and killing them. Oil spills are an example of this. The BP oil spill killed thousands of sea turtles, birds, fish, and plants (Rita 1). Chemical waste is another pollutant which can cause damage to animals and their habitats. Fertilizer waste, which increases with the human population, can kill fish via algae blooms, therefore, decreasing
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