Human beings are a component of biodiversity. Biodiversity is vital for maintaining the existence and making the human life meaningful. But the recent human-centered activities have been destroying the biodiversity. Now there are only 10 percent of the biodiversity that existed on earth when human beings appeared around 13 million years ago. But there is no exact data on the number of biodiversity. The global Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) has estimated around 13 million biological species, of which 1.7 million have been identified. The rest are yet to be identified. Similarly, International Union for Conservation Nature (IUCN) has put the number of biological species at 30 million of which only 1.8 million have been identified. This has indicated that only a fraction of the total estimated biological species has been scientifically named.
At present, human beings are the biggest leader in the world and determinant of biological diversity. All the advantages of biodiversity are discussed in connection with the human beings. Human beings also dependent on bio diversity. The materials required to fulfill the basic and additional necessities are obtained from other species.
There are around 250,000 species of vegetation in the world in terms of their food value. Among them, 30,000 species are edible, and 7,000 species are cultivable while the rest are still in wild condition. The total calories needed for human beings are fulfilled by 30 species. This means that human beings must depend on bio diversity for food. But human beings have not been able to bring the organisms of biological world to their kitchen.
Biodiversity is also needed to keep the human beings healthy. Biodiversity plays an important role to maintain the environment clean. Most of the medicines are produces from bio diversity. That is why, the theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity for this year is: “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health”. The International Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated across the world on May 22.
The importance for this Day has increased in the present situation at a time when the bio diversity is declining rapidly throughout the world.
International Biological Diversity Day is celebrated across the world to raise awareness among the people about the bio diversity and to achieve the goal of long-term development.
The slogan for this year’s Biological Diversity Day has addressed six agendas of long-term goal. It has been expected that this slogan will help to eradicate poverty.
The life of human beings will be guaranteed if the bio diversity is strong. If the bio diversity gets stronger, human beings will be able to collect the food products easily. As a result, they will be fit and healthy. Though human beings are aware about protecting bio diversity to keep them healthy, it has become a big challenge to protect them. According to an article published in Nature, a multidisciplinary scientific journal –“Three hundred species of vegetation used in our food are at high risk of extinction while 236 species of food stuff are also on the verge of extinction, and 267 species have already been disappeared. We also have the data of mass extinction of bio diversity.”
It has been learnt that the number of terrestrial animals has decreased by 33 percent from 1970 to 2005. Similarly, the number of sea species has decreased by 14 percent. Likewise, the number of animals living in fresh water has decreased by 35 percent in a span of 35 years.
A conference of scientists held recently has said that one million creatures will be destroyed in the next decade. According to the Institute of International Education, Latin America, Africa and South Asian Countries have been destroying bio diversity just for the environment and development.
Arable land has increased by 61 percent from 1961 to 2007 in China. The same institution has also stated that the arable land has increased by 40 percent in South Asia. This means that arable land has been increased by destroying the biodiversity.
The diversity of agricultural products has been decreased by 90 percent in the past 100 years. People have started using hybrid seeds more than the local seeds.
Meanwhile, the production of food products has increased by 300 percent in a span of 50 years and the rate of consumption has increased by 15 percent. For instance, a man used to consume one kg food every day in the past and now he is eating 1.50 kg every day.
Nepal is rich in bio diversity. According to a book named Nepal’s bio diversity for food and agriculture published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development in 2017, there are 118 types of eco systems, 12 types of ecological regions and eight types of climates in Nepal.
Among 7,000 species of vegetation found in Nepal, 790 types are edible. Of them, 577 species are cultivated in Nepal. According to the book Nepal’s bio diversity for food and agriculture, 484 species are native, and 93 species were imported from other countries.
Around 224 species of edible vegetation are in wild condition in Nepal. This situation has been taken as a positive aspect of agriculture diversity.
According to Biodiversity International, the agriculture diversity will decrease by 2 percent every year till 2050. If this trend continues, it is for sure that bio diversity and human health will be adversely affected. In addition to that, culture and cultural diversity will also be affected.
It’s our responsibility to conserve bio diversity. If we protect bio diversity, there will be diversity in the food products as well and human beings will also be healthy.