“We’re losing species at a rate never seen before. This is eroding the systems that sustain life on earth, including human life. It’s less visible than extreme weather but it’s killing us for sure.”
Biodiversity is all around us, and is not only essential for keeping our planet healthy but keeps us healthy too. It is not only critical to conserve species but also the fragile ecosystems that support them. We don’t necessarily love merging our natural world with economics, but many do and biodiversity drives our economy by providing services like pollination for our crops, and protecting our cities by preventing flooding and erosion. According to the IUCN, the monetary value of goods and services provided by ecosystems is estimated to amount to approx US$33 trillion per year.
We also rely on it simply to live. Losing significant biodiversity means our crops are more susceptible to pests and disease for example. It means we no longer have access to many plant based medicines. It means soil fertility decreases. We lose our cultural traditions throughout the world too.
Biodiversity is good for our mental and physical wellbeing too. Studies show that spending time in nature improves attention and quality of life, can help you overcome a stressful week, and can enhance imagination and creativity. Our increasing distance from nature, particularly the loss of productive gardens, native plants and green spaces, is even leading to something called ‘nature deficit disorder’.
We’re currently losing species up to 1,000 times the natural rate. Research shows biodiversity loss can impact our ecosystems as much as climate change. If there is a biodiversity crisis, our own lives are in crisis too.