We must become aware of the care of biodiversity

It is not possible to focus on improving crop yields without taking into account biodiversity, that is, soil fertility, weeds, pests, pathogens and pollinating animals. The felling of trees, the drying of wetlands, the fumigation on slopes, among others, can mean irreversible impacts on the environment.

Currently, there is a common cause for concern, which is the fact that human activities have reduced biological diversity on a global, national and regional scale and that this trend has shown no signs of changing. This manifests itself in the loss of animal and plant populations, in the extinction and depletion of resources and in the simplification of ecosystems and communities.

A frequent problem is the lack of basic information about the resources of each nation or region; very few have inventories or basic biological studies and many lack a simple environmental map of the area. The majority lack specific management plans or suffer from a lack of financial means and specialized personnel, in addition to poor institutional organization. This is why adequate strategies are required in terms of planning and resource management, which allow, on the one hand, to reverse the degradation of ecosystems and, on the other, ensure the contribution they make to human well-being.

The extinction of plant and animal species is one of the most worrying symptoms, since it constitutes an irreversible process that forever deprives us of unique and irreplaceable genetic material of which we may not even know yet what practical applications it may have for the benefit of humanity. same humanity that destroys them. This may be the easiest concept to understand in the materialistic and interested world in which we usually move, but it is not the only reason that recommends the conservation of species.

Indeed, the mere fact of not substantially altering the delicate fabric that unites living beings with each other would have to be enough for us, and which reminds us that each species occupies a peculiar ecological niche that, with its extinction, either remains vacant or is occupied by other more ubiquitous species. With which unique food chains are simplified or disappear, and as if this were not enough, the sole right to coexist on planet Earth in plant and animal species should be established as the main argument to avoid extinction by all means.

A mass extinction

The concern does not come from the fact that some species will disappear, but because it is feared that we are witnessing a massive extinction. What is worrying, and very seriously, is the possibility of causing a catastrophe that will drag down the human species itself.

The organisms that have inhabited the Earth from the appearance of life to the present day have been very varied. Living beings have been continually evolving, new species forming while others disappear. It is estimated that only around 1% of the species that have ever inhabited the planet survive today.

If we calculate the extinction rate at this moment, based on the numbers of species per area, taking into account the loss of tropical forests (approximately 1/3 in the last 40 years), 50.000 species become extinct per year (only 7.000 of them known). This represents 10.000 times the natural extinction rate and represents 5% of the total number of species per decade. If these numbers continue, by the end of the XNUMXst century two-thirds of the species on Earth will have disappeared.

It is necessary to take measures and take decisive actions to conserve and maintain genes, species and ecosystems, with a view to sustainable management and use of biological resources. The national government, the provincial governments and the municipalities had to undertake a joint path in order to establish goals that would enable a better knowledge of the biological reality and the design of appropriate strategies so that resources could be used in a sustained manner. In this sense, it is important to implement plans and programs that will develop the evaluation, study and systematic observation of biodiversity.

Some of the measures to take into account would be:

-Promote environmentally appropriate economic development, based on the sustainable use of biodiversity components, encouraging the participation of the private and public sectors for these purposes.

-Strengthen coordination between interested parties, as well as the promotion of commercial standards and practices that promote the sustainable use of biological diversity.

-Obtain financial resources and promote fair and equitable participation in the benefits derived from the use of biological diversity, including environmental goods and services.

-Select and follow projects related to: identification and valorization of biodiversity components, rehabilitation and restoration of degraded ecosystems, among others.

-Ensure that all use of species and ecosystems is sustainable.

Biodiversity in Argentina

Argentina, as a member of this same spaceship, planet Earth, where men create borders and nature is responsible for eliminating them, has not remained outside the problem of extinction, which, although it did not reach catastrophic characteristics, is becoming more acute day by day. day. There is a lack of real public awareness of the issue on the part of all sectors so that a sharp turn of the helm can really take place that takes us away from the danger of losing in the coming years the most significant exponents of our native flora and fauna.

Fortunately, the immensity of the country and the vast expanses that cover most of its natural environments have still made it possible to safeguard most of our floristic and faunal exponents today, although we are now far from that idea of ​​environmental virginity that prevailed until recently. few years. These resources have been used irrationally in the last 50 years, causing the loss of a high percentage of their components. The most unfortunate thing is that the true potential that ecosystems harbor in their entirety is unknown.

Argentina presents an extensive and varied natural and cultural diversity that must be known and preserved for these and future generations. All sectors and social actors that are involved must be integrated into the development processes, in order to respect the cultural identity of each region. The conservative use of the biological and genetic resources that different biomes contain will play a primary role in establishing the guidelines for progressive improvement of the socioeconomic conditions that our population has.

The main benefit of biodiversity is not the direct use of species, but the balanced functioning of ecosystems. The provision of drinking water, climate regulation, erosion and desertification control, soil fertility, nutrient recycling, pest control, maintenance of pastures, renewal of fisheries and waste treatment, as well as other intangible environmental services such as prevention of natural disasters, options for leisure and tourism or nature's own ability to regenerate, all depend on the functions of the planet, on maintaining basic functions of ecosystems that have found their balance over the centuries.

All levels of biodiversity are related to each other. It is not possible to focus on improving crop yields without taking into account soil fertility, weeds, pests, pathogens and pollinating animals. The felling of trees, the drying out of wetlands, the fumigation on slopes, among others, can mean irreversible impacts on the environment and its use. Conserving biodiversity means knowing how to manage nature in a sustainable way, for ourselves and for future generations. www.ecoportal.net

Cristian Frers – Higher Technician in Environmental Management and Higher Technician in Social Communication