Why Does Biodiversity Matter?

Focus Areas

Biodiversity is a key measure of the health of any ecosystem, and of our entire planet. It is the sum total of the interdependence between all life forms and the conditions needed to sustain life.

Why biodiversity matters

Understanding biodiversity, and why it matters is very important; the complexity of views about biodiversity is caused by the variety of interactions with it.

  • Economic value – The natural world provides humans with raw materials for direct consumption and production, and from which to make money. These benefits – and the economic value system that lies behind them – are held especially dear by many whose livelihoods bring them close to the natural world, such as farmers, fishers, timber workers, bee-keepers, and so on.
  • Ecological life-support – Biodiversity provides humans with the healthy, functioning ecosystems that make up the Earth, without which our societies could not exist. Nature delivers to us a supply of oxygen, clean water, pollination of plants, pest control, and so on. As understanding and evidence about the interconnectedness of the natural and human worlds has grown over the past, many have come to believe that protection of the web of life is vital to our own interests, and biodiversity is a convenient expression of that value system. Tourism frequently gains commercial benefit from biodiversity. It was clear from the discussion that scientific value system is important, these calls attention to the worth of systematic ecological data in helping us to understand the natural world, its origins, and the place of the human species within it.

Why we worry about biodiversity

Businesses/Humans are presently concerned about biodiversity because there is undeniable evidence of significant global biodiversity declines which affects their operations in one way or another. The problem is real and everyone must play a role to reduce decline in biodiversity. Private sector, public sector and NGO’s need to come together to save biodiversity and combined efforts will bring more positive impact towards reclaiming our biodiversity. Biodiversity is the enabling factor for a sustainable, thriving society, environment and economy.

Biodiversity and human societies – the connection

Discussion of value concepts highlights the fact that the linkages between biodiversity and human societies may be as multifaceted as are those within ecosystems. Societies benefits from biodiversity in material welfare, security of communities, resilience of local economies, relations among groups in communities, and human health. It also emphasised the term ‘ecosystem services’ under four broad categories: provisioning, the production of food, fibre and water; regulating, the control of climate and diseases; supporting, nutrient cycling and crop pollination; and cultural, such as spiritual and recreational benefits.

Some work needs to be done by the private sector and NGOs to attract significant government involvement for biodiversity conservation programmes. This can be done through the public private partnership.