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Why does biodiversity matter?

By Cathy Robinson - 03 February 2023

The world is facing a biodiversity crisis that will affect every single one of us. With nature being lost at an unprecedented rate, scientists agree humans are exploiting our planet beyond its limits. Our current way of living is unsustainable. Before too long, the earth’s ecosystems will fail. And we can’t survive without healthy natural ecosystems.

What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity refers to the variety of species in the natural world, including animals, plants, fungi and bacteria.

Biodiversity and ecosystems are closely related. An ecosystem means the intricate connections and balance between all living things, and the way they all interact to sustain life on earth.

Biodiversity has decreased at a staggering rate, and it’s all down to human activity. Sometimes this might not seem obvious, especially if you see wildlife on your farm or in your garden. But nobody can remember how diverse and plentiful wildlife was before they were born. It’s very difficult to comprehend the abundance and diversity that existed before.

Is the decline inevitable?

Biodiversity loss is not inevitable. The loss of biodiversity is linked to two core issues: loss of habitat and climate change. Over 75% of the UK is farmland. This is where the real work needs to be done to build nature back into our food systems.

Is biodiversity really a priority?

Nature holds the key to reaching net zero. Restoring biodiversity translates into ‘ecosystem services’ for people, like flood management, carbon capture, nutritious soil, and healthy landscapes. Healthy ecosystems can bounce back quickly when pressures are released. They hold to key to overcoming the challenges related to climate change – if we allow them to recover.

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