Why should I care?
Nature may seem far away from your day-to-day life. But if you look a little deeper, everything in your life comes from nature. When we let different plants, animals, birds, and insects die in large numbers - or worse, become extinct even locally - we upset the balance of nature.
A healthy biodiversity provides a number of natural services for everyone:
- Ecosystem services, such as
- Protection of water resources
- Soils formation and protection
- Nutrient storage and recycling
- Pollution breakdown and absorption
- Contribution to climate stability
- Maintenance of ecosystems
- Recovery from unpredictable events
- Biological resources, such as
- Medicinal resources and pharmaceutical drugs
- Wood products
- Ornamental plants
- Breeding stocks, population reservoirs
- Future resources
- Diversity in genes, species and ecosystems
- Social benefits, such as
- Research, education and monitoring
- Recreation and tourism
- Cultural values
That is quite a lot of services we get for free!
The cost of replacing these (if possible) would be extremely expensive. It therefore makes economic and development sense to move towards sustainability.
And as we start destroying, reducing and isolating habitats, the chances for interaction from species with a large gene pool decreases.
Bees: a simple example
Think of something as simple as bees. If all the bees suddenly died, we would lose more than just honey. Bees pollinate plants and crops - the very thing we rely on for our food, medicines, and even the air we breathe. Bees also produce beeswax that is in many modern neccessities and conveniences. Most importantly, they help maintain the ecosystem by pollinating plants which are not just useful for us, but all species. And each of those species contributes to the world (and to our lives) whether we know it or not.
- No pollination means no plants and crops, and we lose:
- No beeswax, means we lose:
- lotions and moisturizers
- furniture polish
- surgical ingredients
- Loss of maintenance of the ecosystem
- Thousands of other animals and plants depend on it
- Thousands upon thousands of our modern things depend on those animals and plants
- We lose them, we start losing everything
- And last but not least, a massive portion of the world's economy depends on all these natural resources
Loss in biodiversity (a term that describes the variety of life in any form) can cause crops to fail, climate to become unstable, lands to become unusable, and all the natural resources we need for our survival can become scarce.
COVID-19 lockdown was a good taste of scarcity
Remember the first couple of months of lockdown? Basic things were hard to find. And every time you could not get something you wanted, that was an important example of scarcity. But we were not that worried because "it will normal again soon". However, when we lose a natural resource completely, it will be very difficult (if not impossible!) to bring it back. Imagine never having the things we have come to depend on in our daily lives.
Everything is connected
Kutch is very biodiverse, but its biodiversity is under threat. Read below to learn about a few of the major challenges we face. Remember, a loss of biodiversity will harm us, and more importantly, the next generation, and the ones to come after that.
NEXT: Learn about the challenges faced by the wildlife in Kutch.
If you wish to learn more about biodiversity, read this article.