10 Jun 2020, 12:30 — 3 min read
The emergence of COVID-19 has made it clear that, when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. By upsetting the delicate balance of nature–encroaching on wildlife, reducing the genetic diversity within animal populations, causing climate change and extreme weather events–we have created ideal conditions for the spread of viruses between animal and human populations. COVID-19 has revealed the vulnerability of global systems to protect the environment, health and economy. Keeping nature and species diversity intact protects us against pandemics. And nature is sending us a message, time and again, are we listening?
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Biodiversity describes the variety of life on Earth, including the 8 million plant and animal species on the planet, the ecosystems that house them, and the genetic diversity among them. It is a complex, interdependent web, in which each member plays an important role, drawing and contributing in ways that may not even be visible to the eye. The abundant foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the weather that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.
COVID-19 has revealed the vulnerability of global systems to protect the environment, health and economy. Keeping nature and species diversity intact protects us against pandemics.
Biodiversity is the foundation that supports all life on land and below water. It affects every aspect of human health, providing clean air and water, nutritious foods, scientific understanding and medicine sources, natural disease resistance, and climate change mitigation. Changing or removing one element of this web affects the entire life system and can produce negative consequences. Without nature, life on earth would not be possible.
It is the time to appreciate the vital role of health of our planet and to take immediate action to conserve nature and if we don't act now, biodiversity loss will have severe implications for humanity, including the collapse of food and health systems. It is time to re-imagine our relationship with nature and put nature at the heart of our decision-making.
Source: UN Environment Programme
Image source: shutterstock.com
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Posted byVirendra Adhikari
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