Values Of Biodiversity A Complex Subject

The values of biodiversity are different to different people and groups.

A megacorporation’s definition of the values of biodiversity is bound to differ from those of an environmental group. In turn, their perception of the values of biodiversity are bound to differ from those of governmental agencies charged with protecting our resources while promoting development.

Unfortunately, some see global biodiversity values being divorced from local issues, which could very well be easier to address. Often, people don’t consider the values of biodiversity in their localities until after it has been severely damaged. They don’t consider the fragility of various species of plant and animal life until extinction looms and, sometimes, not even then. By that time, it is far too late and far to costly to repair the damage.

Part of the problem is that people tend to base the values of biodiversity on what is important to them. This creates a lot of fragmentation among those groups wanting to preserve the biodiversity of an area, or of a particular natural resource.

It means that the values of biodiversity hinge on what an organization or community considers valuable, and thus allocates money an effort to preserve. While this is horribly far from the most ideal way to measure the values of biodiversity, it is apparently one of the most frequently used.

Many businesses want to preserve the resources they depend on. Farms, for example, use crop rotation and letting parts of their fields lie fallow for a year or two to preserve the land they depend on.

City dwellers may not even be aware that they can take steps to reduce their impact on the land. Things like turning off and unplugging appliances when not in use, and switching from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs can conserve enormous amounts of energy if enough people do them. Even running an air conditioner three degrees higher than you are accustomed to helps, because it does not need the machine to use quite as much energy.

Some businesses, such as the lumber industry want to acquire more and more land, because trees cannot be replaced with anywhere near the same rapidity as they can be harvested. Even lumber businesses that replant or reseed their land are forced to either acquire more grounds to harvest because trees take years to grow.

We need to develop a consistent and comprehensive statement of the values of biodiversity, so that we can tackle the problems of preserving biodiversity and balancing it with the progress people believe is necessary to survival.