Biodiversity by Pavan Gowda

Apr 4th, 2013 | By | Category: Youth Blog

Pavan-Biodiversity

Author Pavan Gowda (left) at INBIO, National Biodiversity Institute, in Costa Rica. (Photo credit: P. Gowda)


Biodiversity is a variety of living things that make up an ecosystem. Biodiversity keeps everything in an ecosystem balanced, and helps make sure that no one species over populates the area. For example, if there is a huge decrease in the frog population, then flies and bugs will increase and the birds and animals that eat the frogs would also decrease. This chain will continue affecting the whole ecosystem.  Since biodiversity is so valuable, I wanted to learn more about its importance, understand how humans are affecting biodiversity, and the ways we could take action.

Did you know that even the smallest living creature, no matter its size, can have a very important role in the ecosystem? Imagine…if little creatures like ants were to disappear it would affect the health of plants; since ants bring nutrients to the soil as they build their nests underground, their disappearance would have a ripple effect on the entire ecosystem. It’s also surprising that Biodiversity has an economic impact on humans too.  One way that people can make money, is from bioprospecting, which is the process of studying plants, microorganisms, animals etc., in order to make products like medicine. An example of bioprospecting is the study of the polar bear to find a cure for diabetes. If we lose these living creatures then we would lose the great opportunities to gain beneficial knowledge to help humanity.

Our ignorance around biodiversity is causing irresponsible actions resulting in the destruction of biodiversity.   Because of pollution and other toxic gases and chemicals that are being released into our air and water, lots of animals and plants are being affected and dying, which is affecting biodiversity.  Also, because of habitat loss, many animals are being forced to leave their homes, affecting the ecosystem.  Another cause of a detrimental change in biodiversity is climate change. Penguins, for example, are being affected by climate change, because of the melting ice caused by global warming.

Protecting a species means protecting its habitats too. So, what can we do? We can raise our awareness about the different types of living things in our ecosystem and try to slow down climate change. An example of a country that is already doing this is Costa Rica. Protecting biodiversity is part of their lifestyle and is extremely important to them. Everybody I met seems to know about the types of animals in their community, and they’re trying hard to protect them.  Costa Rica is also close to becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral country, which helps protect biodiversity even more.

Yes, there is still time for us to learn and take action. If we all work to raise awareness and take action then we can help stop this rapid decrease in biodiversity.

 

By Volunteer Youth Blogger Pavan Gowda

About the Author:

Pavan Raj Gowda is a very passionate environmentalist, and a published author.

He is the Founder of Green Kids Now, Inc., and also the Founder of Green Kids Conference.

 

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