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Why Is Biodiversity Important?

Why Is Biodiversity Important?


  • The variety of life on Earth is commonly referred to as biodiversity.
  • The number of species of plants, animals and microorganisms and the enormous diversity of genes in these species constitute biodiversity.
  • Appropriate conservation and sustainable development strategies attempt to recognise this as being integral to any approach to preserve biodiversity.
  • Almost all the cultures have their roots in our biological diversity in some way or the other. Declining of biodiversity is therefore a concern for many reasons.

Why Is Biodiversity Important?

Biodiversity boosts the ecosystem productivity, where each species, no matter how small they are, have an important role to play.

The advantages of biodiversity include:

  • A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops.
  • Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms.
  • Healthy ecosystems can better withstand and recover from a variety of disasters.

A healthy biodiversity provides a number of natural services to everyone.
The ecosystem services include the following:

  • Protection of water resources
  • Soil formation and protection
  • Nutrient storage and recycling
  • Pollution breakdown and absorption
  • Contribution to climate stability
  • Maintenance of ecosystems
  • Recovery from unpredictable events.

The biological resources include the following:

  • Food
  • Medicinal resources and pharmaceutical drugs
  • Wood products
  • Ornamental plants Breeding stocks and population reservoirs
  • Future resources
  • Diversity in genes, species and ecosystems.

The following are the social benefits of natural services:

  • Research, education and monitoring
  • Recreation and tourism.

The cost of replacing these, if possible, would be extremely expensive. Therefore, it makes an economic sense to move towards sustainability.

  • A report from Nature magazine also explains that genetic diversity helps prevent the chances of extinction.
  • To prevent the well known and well-documented problems of genetic defects caused by inbreeding, the species need a variety of genes -to ensure successful survival.
  • Without this, the chances of extinction would increase. As we start destroying, reducing and isolating habitats, the chances for interaction of species with a large gene pool would decrease.


  • Bioprospecting is the process of discovery and commercialisation of new products based on biological resources.
  • Despite indigenous knowledge being intuitively helpful, bioprospecting has only recently begun to incorporate such knowledge for screening bioactive compounds.
  • Bioprospecting involves biopiracy, the exploitative appropriation of indigenous forms of knowledge by commercial actors and it also includes the search for previously unknown compounds in organisms that have never been used in traditional medicine before.                    Why Is Biodiversity Important?


Environment & Biodiversity

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