There is no question as to the importance of biodiversity. Without it, we would be much poorer in many ways.
While overwhelming, the importance question can be brought into focus by looking at how we value people. Supposed a beloved relative or friend moves or dies. We look at the hole left in our lives by their passing, and reflect on the ways they enriched our lives.
We look at what they valued, and possibly decide to adopt some of their values, but primarily, we reflect on how much we have lost by their not being there any more. In short, to quote an old Joni Mitchell song, Big Yellow Taxi, “Don’t it always seem to go”, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” and “They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot”.
There are very few people who don’t believe in the importance of biodiversity, but most of them are not conscious of what they can do on an individual level to help preserve it. While governments and societies dither about what to sane, what to fix, and what to allocate money, time and effort to, the devastation continues at an alarming rate. Entire species are becoming extinct at rates never seen before. Rivers, lakes, and even oceans are becoming more shallow, or drying up entirely, changing the entire ecosphere and endangering the lives we are accustomed to leading.
In fact, as a society, we are ignoring the importance of biodiversity. We destroy animal and plant species before discovering new ones. We deforest acres of land, without studying them first to see what, other than trees is there. Other than crop rotation, we take no note of how removing diverse plant life from an area depletes the soil and water of a region. And we do all this faster than nature can remedy the damage. Further, we don’t worry about what we have done until it is too late, the resources are gone, and replacing them would carry an astronomical cost.
Plants that provide medicines and animals that provide foods are vanishing, only to be replaced by scrub and vermin, creating devastating epidemics. Ingestion or absorption of contaminants make these vermin resistant to medical intervention, thereby making it even more difficult to cure or control the diseases being spread. Further, these more resistant germs are crossing from species to species, and, like bird flu, making the jump to humans.
This is just one example of how the importance of biodiversity (and the preservation thereof) is relevant to human survival. The internet is full of organizations dedicated to educating people, businesses and governments about the importance of biodiversity, and it behoves us to do so before we have lost much of what makes life precious to us.