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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: January 07, 2009

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Submitted: January 07, 2009




Biodiversity consists of a collective number of different species, weather it be plant or animal. These things can be described as the biotic system. The more diverse the biotic system the more wealth the biological system as a whole retains. Diversity in any and everything is good. Biological diversity is being eroded as fast today in as at any time since the dinosaurs died out some 65 million years ago. The place of most extinction is believed to be in tropical forests. Approximately 10 million species live on earth, and tropical forests maintain between 50 and 90 percent of this total. About 42 million acres of tropical forests, are now being cleared annually, and scientists estimate that at these rates roughly 5 to 10 percent of tropical forest species may face extinction within the next 30 years.

I strongly believe that you do not need to be a high-ranking official to implement the steps to curing the disease of degradation to the planet. Societies have been relying on a few people to fix all the problems of the globe, but it takes more than that to see change. Policies are laws passed, focused on determining a certain outcome on a business or social front, but if the people under the policy don't understand the actual [policy] then there is little movement, which creates stagnation in the society. Once stagnation sets in it is time for another policy maker to re-vamp all new policies to try again. Creating a circle rather then a line. As the information highway opens up and people are exposed to greater knowledge and understanding of their surroundings and cultures we will continue to see a change in the way humans respond to the earth.

First looking at the advantages of Biodiversity we can recognize the importance of the system and treat it accordingly. Earth's plants, animals, and microorganisms - interacting with one another and with the physical environment in ecosystems - form the foundation of sustainable development. Biotic resources from this wealth of life support human livelihoods and aspirations and make it possible to adapt to changing needs and environments. The human race had 850 million members when it entered the industrial age, sharing Earth with life forms nearly as diverse as the planet has ever possessed. Today, with population nearly six times as large and resource consumption proportionately far greater, both the limits of nature and the price of overstepping them are becoming clear. Reasons for the decline consist of habitat change, introduced alien species, and exploitation.

The World Conservation Union Red List estimates that some 23 % of mammal and 12% of bird species are globally threatened. With this threat the ramifications of that cannot be plotted and therefore we must wait to see the earths response, which most likely will not be pleasant for the human element. As the variety of species in an ecosystem changes, a legacy of extinction or species introduction, the ecosystem's ability to absorb pollution, maintain soil fertility and micro-climates, cleanse water, and provide other invaluable services changes too. When the elephant a voracious disappeared from large areas of its traditional range in Africa, the ecosystem was altered as grasslands reverted to woodlands and woodland wildlife returned. When the sea otter was all but exterminated from the Aleutian Islands by fur traders, sea urchin populations swelled and overwhelmed kelp production. The value of variety is particularly apparent in agriculture. For generations, people have raised a wide range of crops and livestock to stabilize and enhance productivity. The wisdom of these techniques-including their contributions to watershed protection, soil fertility maintenance, and receptivity to integrated pest-management strategies, is being reaffirmed today as farmers around the world turn to alternative low-input production systems.

In today's global economy and rapid growing world population, development is and will be needed to sustain the basic human needs and rights upon the planet. The universe is made up of a myriad of particles and elements, just as the ecosystem; if those infinite amounts of particles and elements as well as the ecosystem do not work together then it will be a reflection of their state, therefore degrading their wealth. The earth has been transforming the world, as we know it millions of times over. The biotic system has changed from early microbes, through reptiles, mammals, ice ages, meteors, climate changes and natural disasters. The one key advantage or curse (depending how you use it) that is bestowed upon humans is the ability to use our imaginations. With this we are responsible for the total outlook of our current treatment to the world. Humans have the imagination to do great things but they are also aware of their consequences if they go beyond the moral standards of the earth. Situations such as CO2 emissions, deforestation and massive sprawling interrupt this system that the earth has taken so long to balance. If you delve into the past of the earth you can witness that even without man natural progression and creative destruction will occur. A mountain may grow so high as to block the trade winds creating a massive desert and a lush rain forest, a volcano or platonic shift will build mountains then divide continents. As humans and observers we must take responsibility for the footprint in which we place on the earth.

Bibliography and Webliography

Global Biodiversity Strategy A Policy-maker's Guide 1992

Ensuring the Future: The World Bank and Biodiversity 1998-2004, 1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20433 USA

Environmental Science Tenth edition, Richard T. Wright, Pearson Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458

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