How do Humans contribute towards loss of Biodiversity?

By ZIL E HALEEFA*, H. U. Khan, S. Aneel A. Gilani, Amir Hussain

Biodiversity is the variability of living organisms on Earth. Nature is very beautiful and beauty of nature is the result of organization of different species in different sequences depending upon their growth, climatic conditions, mode of nutrition and locomotion.

Plants and animals both are the essential components of biodiversity. It is the variety of living organisms growing in different ecological zones of the Earth. Humans and nature are connected from the beginning. Both are inter-connected and depending on one another. There is no distinct method to measure the overall impact of humans on biodiversity. Human population is increasing day by day therefore the daily life needs of humans are also increasing. To fulfill all that needs humans are totally dependent on their surrounding biotic and abiotic environment. To find out the total influence of the humans on a given environment, we must have the statistical report of productive land, water requirement and waste being generated by humanity.

With the passage of time, directly or indirectly,human activities have resulted in the loss of biodiversity. Some of the indirect human drivers are demographic, scientific and technological, economic, sociopolitical, and cultural and religious factors.  Some of the direct human drivers are changes in local land use and land cover, species introductions or removals, gene pool, population changes, external inputs, harvesting, air and water pollution, and climate change.

Human activities has gradually changed one-third to one-half of the world’s surface. In the next decade or century, it is expected that humans will seriously convert 50-90 percent of land into developing countries. This is a because of rapid increase in human population and over consumption of natural resources by us. The increase in human population is one of the major problem and root cause for biodiversity loss.The worldwide human population as of July 2005, was at 6.4 billion. According to United Nations estimates, World population is 7.9 billion as of November, 2021 and Pakistan is 226,754,159 as of Monday, 15 November, 2021, and is continuously increasing day by day. The increase in human inhabitants causes a problem because to sustain the growth and for survival, humans are converting natural habitats into residential areas and into food producing fields. About 38 percent of land is used for agriculture purpose, out of which most of the land is non-farmable.  In the developed countries there are rules about biodiversity and considered as direct  relationship between the loss of forests to the increase in cropland may lead to decline in biodiversity. Internationally, in every next second, almost half hectare of forest area is being converted into farmland. One of the potential dangers of decreasing the amount of natural habitats remaining is that species will no longer be present on earth. This directly affects agriculture because many of the species that are being destroyed for croplands may have been used for genetically enhancing crop products. In this manner, the increase in agricultural land actually harms our agricultural future.

Human activitiesare also responsible for climate change that is also a contribution towards the loss of biodiversity. This change in climate is because of increase in pollutants of air such as concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. The increase rate of CO2 in atmosphere cause rise in temperature of land and oceans. The precipitation rates also changes in response to that. It also has impact on species diversity as species are also dependent on climatic and ecological factors for their growth and survival. Climate has great influence on several biological activities of species such as the time frame for the reproduction of species, the seasonal migrations of species, the duration of growing season, distribution of species in an area, density, frequency, population size, and rapid outbreak of some diseases or pest attacks.It is also evident that due to its higher magnitude and fast rate, climate change in 21st century had much greater impact on biodiversity as compared to past 10.000years. The rise in temperature of Earth cause global warming and due to which nature is facing losses of plant and animals species. About 80 percent of the biologically rich areas are suffering from this. Different species are becoming extinct day by day.

Biodiversity is an ecological and most critical issue that affects everyone and therefore each and every single personmust have the knowledge of the ongoing processes. One should be aware of their effect on biodiversity. The basic knowledge regarding biodiversity must be given at basic level. People should aware of environmental issues and their responsibilities towards the environment. Lack of knowledge is one of the basic reasons, because most of the people of our country are not highly educated so they don’t know the terms like biodiversity. So awareness campaigns in this regard can be initiated for common man. Media can play its role in this regard and that could be highly appreciable and positive activity unlike other irrelevant news going on daily. Without knowing the circumstances we are damaging the biodiversity. The fear fact is this that biodiversity and our survival is directly related so if biodiversity decreases eventually our chances of survival will be reduced as well. Several species of plants and animals are becoming extinct gradually. Many plant and animal species are reported as endangered species or threatened species that are at the risk of extinction or may get extinct in near future. Keeping in view of the current scenario we must think about it that we are also a species and if biodiversity loss continues we will suffer as well. Therefore, it is important to educate people on living in equilibrium with the environment. It is also important to make sure that the government is making laws that will ensure biodiversity for the future and not focus on shortsighted economics. If humans become extinct, it will likely be a result of their own action or lack of education and positive attitude towards environment. May Allah protect us and may we understand the things before it is too late….

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