Friday, September 20, 2019
Leisure Time And Cultural Values Of Biodiversity Environmental Sciences Essay
Leisure Time And Cultural Values Of Biodiversity Environmental Sciences Essay Many people derive value from biodiversity through leisure activities such as hiking, birdwatching or natural history study. Biodiversity has inspired musicians, painters, sculptors, writers and other artists. Many culture groups view themselves as an integral part of the natural world and show respect for other living organisms. Popular activities such as gardening, fishkeeping and specimen collecting strongly depend on biodiversity. The number of species involved in such pursuits is in the tens of thousands, though the majority do not enter mainstream commerce. The relationships between the original natural areas of these often exotic animals and plants and commercial collectors, suppliers, breeders, propagators and those who promote their understanding and enjoyment are complex and poorly understood. It seems clear, however, that the general public responds well to exposure to rare and unusual organisms-they recognize their inherent value at some level. A family outing to the botanical garden or zoo is as much an aesthetic and cultural experience as an educational one. Philosophically it could be argued that biodiversity has intrinsic aesthetic and spiritual value to mankind in and of itself. This idea can be used as a counterweight to the notion that tropical forests and other ecological realms are only worthy of conservation because of the services they provide. Key words:Biodiversity;leisure,aesthetic Introduction Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or on an entire planet. Biodiversity is one measure of the health of biological systems. Life on Earth today consists of many millions of distinct biological species. The year 2010 was declared the International Year of Biodiversity. Biodiversity is not consistent across the Earth. It is consistently rich in the tropics and in specific regions such as the Cape Floristic Province; it is less rich in polar regions where conditions support much less biomass. Rapid environmental changes typically cause extinctions. 99.9Ã percent of species that have existed on Earth are now extinct. Since life began on Earth, five major mass extinctions have led to large and sudden drops in Earthly biodiversity. The Phanerozoic eon (the last 540 million years) marked a rapid growth in biodiversity in the Cambrian explosion-a period during which nearly every phylum of multicellular organisms first appeared. The next 400 million years was distinguished by periodic, massive biodiversity losses classified as mass extinction events. The most recent, the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, occurred 65Ã million years ago, and has attracted more attention than all others because it killed the nonavian dinosaurs. The term was used first by wildlife scientist and conservationist Raymond F. Dasmann in a lay book advocating conservation. The term was widely adopted only after more than a decade, when in the 1980s it came into common usage in science and environmental policy. Use of the term by Thomas Lovejoy, in the foreword to the book Conservation Biology, introduced the term to the scientific community. Until then the term natural diversity was common, including by The Science Division of The Nature Conservancy in an important 1975 study, The Preservation of Natural Diversity. By the early 1980s TNCs Science program and its head, Robert E. Jenkins, Lovejoy and other leading conservation scientists at the time in America advocated the use of biological diversity. The terms contracted form biodiversity may have been coined by W.G. Rosen in 1985 while planning the National Forum on Biological Diversity organized by the National Research Council (NRC) which was to be held in 1986, and first appeared in a publication in 1988 when entomologist E. O. Wilson used it as the title of the proceedings of that forum. Human benefits Biodiversity supports a number of natural ecosystem processes and services. Some ecosystem services that benefit society are air quality, climate (e.g., CO2 sequestration), water purification, pollination, and prevention of erosion. Since the stone age, species loss has accelerated above the prior rate, driven by human activity. The exact rate is uncertain, but it has been estimated that species are now being lost at a rate approximately 100 times as fast as is typical in the fossil record, or perhaps as high as 10,000 times as fast. Land is being transformed from wilderness into agricultural, mining, lumbering and urban areas for humans. Non-material benefits include spiritual and aesthetic values, knowledge systems and the value of education.. Human health Biodiversitys relevance to human health is becoming an international political issue, as scientific evidence builds on the global health implications of biodiversity loss. This issue is closely linked with the issue of climate change, as many of the anticipated health risks of climate change are associated with changes in biodiversity (e.g. changes in populations and distribution of disease vectors, scarcity of fresh water, impacts on agricultural biodiversity and food resources etc.) Some of the health issues influenced by biodiversity include dietary health and nutrition security, infectious diseases, medical science and medicinal resources, social and psychological health. One of the key health issues associated with biodiversity is that of drug discovery and the availability of medicinal resources. A significant proportion of drugs are derived, directly or indirectly, from biological sources; At least 50% of the pharmaceutical compounds on the US market are derived from compounds found in plants, animals, and microorganisms, while about 80% of the world population depends on medicines from nature (used in either modern or traditional medical practice) for primary healthcare. Moreover, only a tiny proportion of the total diversity of wild species has been investigated for medical potential. Through the field of bionics, considerable advancement has occurred which would not have occurred without rich biodiversity. It has been argued, based on evidence from market analysis and biodiversity science, that the decline in output from the pharmaceutical sector since the mid-1980s can be attributed to a move away from natural product exploration (biopr ospecting) in favor of genomics and synthetic chemistry, neither of which have yielded the expected breakthroughs; meanwhile, natural products have a long history of supporting significant economic and health innovation. Marine ecosystems are of particular interest in this regard, although inappropriate bioprospecting has the potential to degrade ecosystems and increase biodiversity loss, as well as impacting the rights of the communities and states from which the resources are taken.. Conservation of biodiversity Conservation biology matured in the mid- 20th century as ecologists, naturalists, and other scientists began to collectively research and address issues pertaining to global declines in biodiversity. The conservation ethic differs from the preservationist ethic, originally led by John Muir, that seeks protected areas devoid of human exploitation or interference for profit. The conservation ethic advocates management of natural resources for the purpose of sustaining biodiversity in species, ecosystems, the evolutionary process, and human culture and society.  Conservation biology is reforming around strategic plans that include principles, guidelines, and tools for the purpose of protecting biodiversity. Conservation biology is crisis-oriented and multi-disciplinary, including ecology, social organization, education, and other disciplines outside of biology. Preserving biodiversity is a global priority in strategic conservation plans that are designed to engage public policy and concerns affecting local, regional and global scales of communities, ecosystems, and cultures. Action plans identify ways of sustaining human well-being, employing natural capital, market capital, and ecosystem services. and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Strategies for biodiversity Strategically, focusing on areas of higher potential biodiversity promises greater return on investment than spreading conservation resources evenly or in areas of little diversity but greater interest in the conservation. A second strategy focuses on areas that retain most of their original diversity. These are typically non-urbanized, non-agricultural areas. Tropical areas often fit both sets of criteria, given their natively high diversity and relative lack of development. However, many animal species are migratory, meaning that focusing only on specific locations is insufficient. Wildlife corridors can help support migration, and is considerably cheaper and easier than clearing/preserving entirely new areas. Some habitats may require restoration before standard conservation techniques can be effective. Conclusions Popular activities such as gardening, fishkeeping and specimen collecting strongly depend on biodiversity. The number of species involved in such pursuits is in the tens of thousands, though the majority do not enter mainstream commerce. The relationships between the original natural areas of these often exotic animals and plants and commercial collectors, suppliers, breeders, propagators and those who promote their understanding and enjoyment are complex and poorly understood. It seems clear, however, that the general public responds well to exposure to rare and unusual organisms-they recognize their inherent value at some level. A family outing to the botanical garden or zoo is as much an aesthetic and cultural experience as an educational one. Philosophically it could be argued that biodiversity has intrinsic aesthetic and spiritual value to mankind in and of itself. This idea can be used as a counterweight to the notion that tropical forests and other ecological realms are only worthy of conservation because of the services they provide.