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Importance of Biodiversity

The very existence of life on planet Earth is in severe crisis, and lack of awareness about the importance of biodiversity is one of the key problems which needs to be looked into. Wondering why you should contribute your bit towards biodiversity conservation? Here are some good enough reasons for you to do so!
Most of us must be oblivious of this fact, but 'biodiversity' is as important to humans as it is to the other life forms on the planet. In a bid to spread awareness about the importance of biodiversity, the United Nations General Assembly had declared 2010 as the 'International Year of Biodiversity'. On 22nd December, 2010, the UN General Assembly passed a new resolution (65/161) declaring the 2011-2020 decade as the 'United Nations Decade on Biodiversity'. While the UN is trying its best to encourage biodiversity conservation, humans seem to be least concerned about its importance or the need to conserve it; and the rampant exploitation of natural resources for our selfish gains makes this very fact obvious. Increasing population has resulted in rapid growth in consumption of resources, which, in turn, has started to take its toll on the biodiversity of our planet. Over the last few decades, 'biodiversity conservation' has become one of the top priority environmental issues for the United Nations, and that has prompted them to come up with measures like the 'International Year of Biodiversity' and 'United Nations Decade on Biodiversity' to save the environment. The first step towards environment protection is to create awareness about the role it has to play in our lives - directly or indirectly, and that is the need of the hour considering that we humans have a tendency to wake up from our deep slumber only when the 'threat' is right at our doorstep.

Why is Biodiversity Important? In biology, 'biological diversity' or 'biodiversity' is defined as the "totality of genes, species and ecosystems of a region". Simply put, it is the variation of lifeforms in a given ecosystem which includes all the living organisms found there. This is a broad definition, as the term 'ecosystem' may refer to any given area - including the woodlands in your neighborhood, different biomes of the world or the entire Earth as a whole. The biodiversity of our planet is made up of several million species of flora and fauna. The distribution of these species however, is quite uneven with major concentrations being seen in the tropics and least at the poles (latitudinal gradient).