The Importance of Biodiversity

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‘Define Biodiversity and using examples, explain why it is important’
Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth. A fuller definition is given in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) from the 1992 Earth summit: ‘Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part ; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems’ (Hambler, C., 2004, 11).
Within planet earth today Biodiversity forms the foundation for the vast array of ecosystem services that critically contribute to human well being. It is as important in human managed ecosystems as well as natural ecosystems (Hambler, C.,
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Endangered species of plants or animals may have properties yet to be discovered that could provide important medicines (Hambler, C., 2004, 29). In addition to such direct benefits, the world’s diverse living creatures working in concert provide important ecological functions such as air and water purification, climate regulation, erosion control, and providing oxygen in the atmosphere that humans need to breathe (Hambler, C., 2004, 29).
Some ecologists also stress the aesthetic value of a natural world rich with an abundance of varied and often beautiful life-forms. Many common human behaviours exhibit the importance of being able to enjoy Biodiversity in many different ways. It may be that survival is possible but life without this biodiversity being available may prove boring and unfulfilling (Primack, R.B, 2002,24).
In addition, the interactions taking place between world economics and biodiversity also has to be taken into consideration. The arguments for the conservation of biodiversity with regards to economics are divided quite broadly into ‘direct use value’ and ‘indirect use value’. direct use value is involved with microbial products such as animals and plants whereas indirect use is involved with the ecosystem services that are provided by a group of species and habitats, these include the likes of flood

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