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Researching the Concept of Biodiversity

In general, biodiversity is a key player in maintaining the survival of all kinds of life on Earth. However, in everyday life, it is hard to formulate what it is really about. What is surprising, scholars also tend to give broad definitions because of the wide scope of the phenomenon. Yang et al. (2021) formulate it as “the variety of life, including variation among genes, species and functional traits” (p. 1). An article from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy highlights that the definition of biodiversity will differ across ecology, economics, social sciences, and climatology. (“Biodiversity”, 2021). Therefore, for the benefit of this report, it will be better to define biodiversity as a variety of all life on the planet.

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The research on biodiversity is huge, so it will be beneficial to cover only modern trends. First of all, this topic is highly interconnected with climate change scholarship. The main conclusion is that biodiversity is in decline. For example, Raven and Wagner (2021) warn the global community about the extinction of many insect species because of climate change and inappropriate soil use. In addition, Albert et al. (2021) indicate the reduction of freshwater ecosystems because of human activity. In general, the scholar community is concerned with the intensification of human activity in the post-industrial era. Secondly, the very popular field in the academic community is the relationship between biodiversity and urban ecosystem services (Schwarz et al., 2017). The scholars debate the proper design of urban planning to satisfy the need for biodiversity preservation.

The reasonable question that may occur is why humanity should pay close attention to the rapid decline of biodiversity. The most logical answer is that biodiversity influences human and animal nutrition. The extinction of some species will be the cause of the extinction of species that are heavily dependent on them. It will have the “row of dominoes” effect – new and new animals will have problems with the accessibility of nutrition. Another reason is that biodiversity ensures the production of oxygen and, thus, clean air. Finally, stable and protected biodiversity provides stability in the climate, which is really important nowadays.

The most urgent problem for developed nations is to protect the biodiversity of our environment. In this matter, the field of research shifts from ecology to policy analysis and political science. The fundamental problem is which policy instruments to use in order to stop biodiversity decline. Great work is done by transnational organizations like the UN, Greenpeace, and WWF. For example, the United Nations Sustainable Development Program is designed to implement “transformative changes to restore and protect nature” (United Nations, n.d.). The opposition to the radical reforms goes from developing countries that favor their economic growth over the preservation of biodiversity. International diplomats and policymakers should find keys to restrict damaging activity to the extent which will help to halt biodiversity loss.

References

Albert, J. S., Destouni, G., Duke-Sylvester, S. M., Magurran, A. E., Oberdorff, T., Reis, R. E., & Ripple, W. J. (2021). Scientists’ warning to humanity on the freshwater biodiversity crisis. Ambio, 50(1), 85-94. Web.

Biodiversity. (2021). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Web.

Raven, P. H., & Wagner, D. L. (2021). Agricultural intensification and climate change are rapidly decreasing insect biodiversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(2). Web.

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Schwarz, N., Moretti, M., Bugalho, M. N., Davies, Z. G., Haase, D., Hack, J., Hof, A., Melero, Y., Pett, T. J., & Knapp, S. (2017). Understanding biodiversity-ecosystem service relationships in urban areas: A comprehensive literature review. Ecosystem services, 27, 161-171. Web.

United Nations. (n.d.). Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss. Web.

Yang, Q., Liu, G., Casazza, M., Gonella, F., & Yang, Z. (2021). Three dimensions of biodiversity: New perspectives and methods. Ecological Indicators, 130, 1-10. Web.

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