“The world today is economically richer and environmentally poorer that ever.” – Lester R. Brown.
When drinking mountain water or eating wild berries, one probably doesn’t stop to consider how these came about. Even though much of what’s happening in the world today doesn’t show it, we are, as humans, totally dependent on the natural environment. In the moral light, just because we have the power to destroy ecosystems it doesn’t make it right too. Due to the people in power today tending to have minimal moralistic views, more convincing is the economic argument – we cannot afford to destroy the earth’s ecosystems. Each ecosystem provides unique services to the environments they are in. Without a properly functioning ecosystem, some environmental processes necessary for the continuation of plant and animal life would be impossible. In turn it depletes a significant amount of resources that we rely on as humans.
In the past few centuries humans have had especially negative effects on the environment. Ecosystems are being destroyed, animals and plant species are becoming extinct and biodiversity is being lost. Due to the damage we have caused, and the recently realized value that ecosystems have to us, requires the protection of ecosystems to become a major necessity. There are five main reasons why it’s necessary to protect ecosystems – biological diversity, utility value, intrinsic value, heritage value and the need to allow natural change to proceed.
There are three areas that maintaining biological diversity covers: genetic, species and ecological diversity. Genetic diversity is the number of genetic characteristics in the makeup of a species. About eighty northern hairy-nosed wombats, for example, live in one 300-hectare site in Epping Forest National Park in central Queensland. If disaster struck this population, the genetic diversity would further be reduced and inbreeding could occur. Therefore genetic diversity plays a very important role in survival...