Loss of Biodiversity: A Blow to Human Society
05 June, 2010
While celebrating World Environment Day in the International Year of Biodiversity, we need to realize that the increasing loss of biodiversity in recent times has resulted in a direct impact on human societies. Biodiversity, which is the summation of all living things on this planet, has more importance to human beings than simply providing them raw material upon which they can build cities. Unchecked urban development has created direct threats to ecosystems and habitats that house thousands of plant, animal and bird species. Even beyond land mass, our oceans are now becoming dumping grounds for waste material.
2010 has also seen environmental disasters of great magnitude. The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has further degraded value and variety of life in the ocean, harming wetlands, cetaceans, fish, turtle and bird species, as well as destroying livelihoods of thousands of local fishermen. As the responsible organization tries to fix the problem, one wonders why lack of legislation on the global level lead to such a disaster in the first place. On the home front, we find that the Government of Punjab is going to further deplete the forest cover in the province by leasing 30000 acres of forest to be turned into agriculture land, despite the fact that the same Government recently amended and approved the Punjab Forest Act 1927 to protect forest area from the same kind of destruction. Freshwater turtle species, some of which are graded extremely rare by IUCN, are still being hunted in mass quantities for their meat and parts for export, while the authorities fail to safeguard them.
It is hoped by WWF – Pakistan on this World Environment Day that accountability and a proactive approach is adopted to protect and conserve our biodiversity, and to ensure that all species, not just human beings, are treated with the same respect that nature has bestowed upon them unequivocally.