The loss of biodiversity in the world becomes alarming

Biodiversity is the variety of living beings that inhabit the planet, their different levels of biological organization and their respective genetic variability, as well as the natural patterns present in ecosystems. The loss of biological diversity refers to the decrease or disappearance of this diversity. It is a phenomenon that has accelerated in recent decades, and is having serious consequences for the planet and humanity.

The current situation in the world is alarming. According to the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 34% of plant and vertebrate species are in Danger of extinction. This means that they are one step away from disappearing from the face of the Earth.

The causes of biodiversity loss are diverse, but the main ones are:

  • The overexploitation of natural resources: The extraction of natural resources, such as wood, fishing or hunting, can cause the extinction of species or the decline of their populations.
  • Habitat destruction: The loss of habitats, such as forests, coral reefs or grasslands, can leave species without a place to live.
  • The introduction of invasive alien species: Invasive alien species can compete with native species for resources, or transmit diseases to them.
  • Climate change: Climate change is altering ecosystems and making some species unable to adapt to new conditions.

Some examples of problems currently caused by the loss of biological diversity are:

  • The decrease in the productivity of ecosystems: Biodiversity is essential for the functioning of ecosystems, as each species has a role to play. The loss of biodiversity can lead to a decrease in the productivity of ecosystems, which can affect agriculture, fisheries and forestry.
  • Increased vulnerability to pests and diseases: Biodiversity helps maintain the balance of ecosystems, making it difficult for pests and diseases to spread. Loss of biodiversity can increase the vulnerability of ecosystems to pests and diseases, which can lead to economic and food losses.
  • Decreased water and air quality: Biodiversity helps clean water and air, as plants and animals play an important role in the water and carbon cycle. The loss of biodiversity can lead to a decrease in water and air quality, which can have negative effects on human health and the environment.
  • The loss of ecosystem services: Ecosystem services are the benefits that ecosystems provide to humanity, such as the provision of food, water, wood, medicine and recreation. The loss of biodiversity can lead to the loss of ecosystem services, which can affect people's quality of life.

If biodiversity loss continues at the current rate, the following scenarios may occur:

  • The disappearance of species: It is estimated that at least one million species are in danger of extinction, and that many of them could disappear in the coming decades.
  • The collapse of ecosystems: Ecosystems are complex systems that depend on the interaction between different species. The loss of biodiversity can lead to the collapse of ecosystems, which would have a devastating impact on the planet.
  • Increasing risks to humanity: Biodiversity loss increases risks to humanity, such as food shortages, increased disease and climate change.

The loss of biodiversity is a serious problem that requires urgent action from everyone. Measures need to be taken to reduce the overexploitation of natural resources, protect habitats, control invasive alien species and mitigate climate change. Only in this way can we avoid the serious scenarios that could occur if the loss of biodiversity continues at the current rate.

What can you do to help reduce biodiversity loss?

  • Reduce your consumption of natural resources: Reduce your consumption of meat, fish and dairy products, since the production of these foods requires large amounts of natural resources. You can also reduce your consumption of electricity, water and fossil fuels.
  • Support companies that protect the environment: By purchasing products from companies that have a commitment to sustainability, you are supporting their efforts to protect biodiversity.
  • Join organizations that work for biodiversity conservation: There are many organizations that work for the conservation of biodiversity. Join one of them and participate in their activities.

Every small gesture can help reduce biodiversity loss and protect the planet for future generations.