Economic role of biodiversity & Ethical role of biodiversity

Economic role of biodiversity & Ethical role of biodiversity

    Economic role of biodiversity
    • For all humans, biodiversity is first a resource for daily life. Such a diversity in crops is also called agro biodiversity. Most people see biodiversity as a reservoir of resources to be drawn upon for the manufacture of food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic products.
    • This concept of biological resources management probably explains most fears of resources disappearance related to the erosion of the biodiversity. However, it is also the origin of new conflicts dealing with rules of division and appropriation of natural resources.
    • Some of the important economic commodities that biodiversity supplies to humankind are

    Food Biodiversity
    • Food crops, livestock, forestry, and fish, contribute to the development of high yielding and disease resistant varieties

    • Wild plant species have been used for medicinal purposes from time immemorial. For example, quinine comes from cinchona tree (used to treat malaria), digitoxin from the foxglove plant (to treat chronic heart trouble), and morphine from the poppy plant (pain relief). According to the National Cancer Institute, over 70 % of the promising anti-cancer drugs come from plants in the tropical rainforests. Animals may also play a role, in particular in research. It is estimated that of the 250,000 known plant species, only 5,000 have been researched for possible medical applications.

    • Biodiversity may be a source of energy (such as biomass) for example fibres for clothing and wood for shelter and warmth. Other industrial products are oils, lubricants, perfumes, fragrances, dyes, paper, waxes, rubber, latex, resins, poisons and cork can all be derived from various plant species. Supplies from animal origin are wool, silk, fur, leather, lubricants and waxes. Animals may also be used as a mode of transportation.
    • Tourism and recreation : Biodiversity is a source of economical wealth for many areas, such as many parks and forests, where wild plants and animals are a source of beauty and joy for many people. Ecotourism in particular, is a growing outdoor recreational activity.
    • Ecologists and environmentalists were the first to insist on the economic aspect of biological diversity protection. Thus, Edward O. Wilson wrote in 1992, that The biodiversity is the one of the bigger wealths of the planet, and nevertheless the less recognized as such..
    • Estimation of the value of biodiversity is a necessary precondition to any discussion on the distribution of biodiversity richnesses. This value can be divided into use value (direct such as tourism or indirect such as pollination) or non-use or intrinsic value.
    • If biological resources represent an ecological interest for the community, their economic value is also increasing. For society, biodiversity also is a field of activity and profit. It requires a proper management set up to determine how these resources are to be used. The majority of species are yet to be evaluated for their current or future economic importance.

    Ethical role of biodiversity

    • Finally, the role of biodiversity is to be a mirror of our relationships with the other living species, an ethical view with rights, duties, and education. If humans consider species have a right to exist, they cannot cause voluntarily their extinction. Besides, biodiversity is also part of many cultures of spiritual heritage.

    Scientific role of biodiversity
    • Biodiversity is important because each species can give scientists some clue as to how life evolved and will continue to evolve on Earth. In addition, biodiversity helps scientists understand how life functions and the role of each species in sustaining ecosystems.

Last modified: Sunday, 1 April 2012, 8:48 PM