The huge variety of all living species on our Planet is a key element to life as we know it. However, too many species – including a fourth of mammals – are at risk of extinction. This has to be changed and real protection has to increase.
This is why ” The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. It is a celebration of life on earth and of the value of biodiversity for our lives.
For the occasion the WWF issued a list of ten species to watch in 2010 as they are at risk of becoming extinct. Among the list is the tiger. What would Calvin become without Hobbes ?
Here is the UNEP press release on that event :
Biodiversity – the variety of all living things and the interactions between them – urgently needs to be conserved for us and future generations.
Only three days remain before the launch of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity in Berlin, Germany, and in the run-up to what many hope will be a watershed year for biodiversity conservation, it is worthwhile to consider the value of biodiversity for humans.
Conserving biodiversity is in our self-interest. Biological resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Specifically, biodiversity and the ecosystems it forms are essential for sustaining the living networks and systems that provide us all with health, wealth, food, fuel and the vital services our lives depend on.
“Goods and services” provided by ecosystems include:
- Provision of food, fuel and fibre
- Provision of shelter and building materials
- Purification of air and water
- Waste recycling
- A stable climate
- Mitigation of floods, droughts, temperature extremes and destructive winds
- Generation and renewal of soil fertility, including nutrient cycling
- Pollination of plants, including many crops
- Control of pests and diseases
- Maintenance of genetic resources which are key inputs to crop varieties and livestock breeds, medicines, and other products
- Cultural and aesthetic benefits
The loss of biodiversity destabilizes ecosystems, and weakens their ability to withstand natural disasters such as floods, droughts and hurricanes, and with human-caused stresses, such as pollution and climate change.
2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, and people all over the world are working to safeguard this irreplaceable natural wealth and reduce biodiversity loss. This is vital for current and future human well-being. We need to do more. Now is the time to act. What will yourcontribution be?