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Environment Crisis: Why The Biodiversity Loss Should Bother You

Biodiversity is the variety of life. The wide variety of species whether plants, animals, birds, fish, insects or microscopic organisms, are vital to maintain the delicate balance of this only known planet with life on it, according to experts. Biodiversity brings countless benefits to human beings like oxygen, water and food among others. However, human activities are destroying the natural world, causing habitat loss that is not only disturbing the ecosystem and human animal relationship, but is also leading to the extinction of animals and plants at an alarming rate, says D. Raghunandan of Delhi Science Forum. Here are five major reasons why humans should be worried about the degradation of the nature:

Humans Are More At Risk From Diseases As Biodiversity Depletes

According to Mr. Raghunandan, human activities are causing a loss of habitat for various species of animals, birds and insects. This has resulted in an increased human-animal interaction which has escalated the probability of viruses jumping from animals to human beings and giving rise to diseases called zoonotic diseases, he said. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a result of the imbalance in the human-animal relationship caused due to the biodiversity crisis, Mr. Raghunandan added.

Biodiversity Mitigates The Impacts Of Natural Disasters

According to Mahipal Negi, an Environmentalist based in Tehri, Uttarakhand, biodiversity conservation helps in reducing the impact of natural disasters. He asserted that the increasing human invasion in natural habitats and unsustainable use of resources has resulted in climate change that has further led to frequent occurring of floods and other natural disasters.

Biodiversity Is Crucial For Global Food Systems

Biodiversity plays an extremely important role in terms of global food systems. However, the loss of biodiversity is leading to food cycle changes at local and global levels, according to experts. Mr. Negi highlighted that biodiversity directly impacts the production of grains, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and other food items. Biodiversity is also important for the productivity of soil and impacts other food resources like livestock and marine species.

Biodiversity Crisis In Affecting Freshwater Systems

According to experts, the loss of biodiversity in the river ecosystem is acutely affecting the availability of freshwater. Waterman of India, Dr. Rajendra Singh highlighted that due to dumping of untreated sewage, chemical wastes and industrial pollutants, and disrupting the natural flow of the water bodies by the building of dams, major rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Gomti, Mahi, Godavari, Damodar, Sabarmati and the Cauvery have been badly polluted.

Biodiversity Loss Curtails Essential Ecosystem Services

According to the World Health Organisation, human health ultimately depends on ecosystem services provided by the biodiversity of the planet such as availability of oxygen, fresh water, food and fuel sources, climate moderation, cleaning of the carrion or the decaying flesh of dead animals and humans among others.