Importance of Biodiversity
Biodiversity has contributed in many ways to the development of human culture and, in turn, human communities have played a major role in shaping the diversity of nature at the genetic, species and ecological levels. It plays the following roles: ecological, economic, and scientific.
It is a structure in stable evolution, from a viewpoint of species, as well as from viewpoint of an individual organism. Before the advent of humans, our earth supported more biodiversity than in any other period. Since, the emergence of humans, however, it has begun a rapid decline, with one species after another bearing the brunt of extinction due to overuse.
The economic importance of biodiversity for humans can be summarized as follows:
- It offers food: harvests, silviculture, livestock, and fish
- It is fundamentally important in medicine. A very large number of species of plants is used for medicinal purposes since very ancient times.
- It has a remarkable role also in the textile fibers manufacturing industry, wood for building and for the production of energy.
- It is a source of richness also in the sector of tourism and recreational activities: wild natural environments and the presence of animals, in fact, attract thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.
The task of biodiversity is to be reflecting off our relationships with the other living species, a moral view of rights, duties, and education. If humans believe species have a right to exist, they cannot cause voluntarily their extinction. Besides, biodiversity is also an element of a lot of cultures’ spiritual heritage.