MASENO UNIVERSITY

Department of international relation and diplomacy Name: PETER ABRAHAM DALLE

Course: ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS Que: Discuss the causes of biodiversity loss and methods that can be used in the
conservation of biodiversity.
Introduction. The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, brought the topic of biodiversity conservation into the living rooms of the world and helped place this critical issue on the agendas of world leaders. The human and biodiversity that is under attack represents the bulk of the planets natural and human resource base reducing diversity will result in a gradual loss of options for the future, not only the current generations, but also for the many to come. Three levels of biodiversity are commonly discussed—genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity. 1. Genetic diversity is all the different genes contained in all the living species including individual plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms. 2. Species diversity is all the different species, as well as the differences within and between different species. 3. Ecosystem diversity is all the different habitats, biological communities and ecological processes, as well as variation within individual ecosystems. The root causes of biodiversity loss are found in basic economic, demographic and political trends including the relentless human demand for commodities, runaway population growth and the escalating debt burdens of third world nations (Hannigan, 2007). Following this basic understanding the following are some of the causes of biodiversity loss. Causes of biodiversity loss. 1. Extinction and evolutionary replacement.

The introductions of exotic organisms where they are not native are one of the greatest threats to native biodiversity because they replace local and native species and it is cited as the second largest of biodiversity loss. some animals are ill suited to exist in changed climate and . 6. Alterations to ecosystems are critical factor contributing to species and habitat loss. Alien invasive species replace. Some animal populations have been greatly reduced. or even deliberately exterminated because they are regarded as dangerous to humans or livestock or because they compete with our use of resources. Invasive alien species/ exotic species introductions. over-fishing or over-collecting of a species which are either done on small scale or large scale for commercial purposes. Predator and pest control. 9. 8. live specimens this include Tiger or Leopard fur coats. In the event of alterations. Global warming and increasing global temperatures affects ecosystems and how animals are distributed in their natural ecosystems. Habitat loss and destruction/ encroachment. Evolutionary replacement and mass extinctions occur normally while in some cases they are human induced where large pollution agents are realized into the environment. 3. if they are not provided with enough time to adapt to changing climate conditions. but also for their successful future evolution. 5. which alters the genetic makeup . ( Hannigan. either ecosystem can begin to change. This is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity. By destroying habitat. 2007) Over-exploitation Over harvesting is responsible for depletion or extinction of many species. Some forms of commercial exploitation are highly destructive and represent a serious threat to certain rare species. The annual economic damage caused by invasive plant and animal species is estimated to be in the region of US$1. An . 7. we eliminate not only prominent species but also many obscure ones of which we may not even be aware. Habitat loss is directly linked to human induced pressures on land. Global climate change Both climate variability and climate change cause biodiversity loss. Smuggling of furs. Destruction of forests. Commercial products and live specimens. and result in the extinction of native species as they crowd them out. For example poachers killed 600. Pollution and contamination Pollution means the contamination of resources or materials affecting their place of existence.2. Alterations in ecosystem composition Assemblages of species and their interactions with their ecosystems are critical for not only saving the species. wetlands and other biologically rich ecosystems around the world threatens to eliminate thousands or even millions of species in a human caused mass extinction. Changing consumption patterns of human is often cited as the key reason for this unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. Biological systems respond slowly to changes in their surrounding environment. hides. this occurs through over-hunting. 4. Pollution and contamination cause irreversible damage to species and will even lead to the rewriting of the existing gene codes and constitution. which is the habitat. A classical example of this is the water hyacinth on Lake Victoria and the Mathenge shrub that was introduced in Northern Kenyan to curd desertification is causing serious health problems to the native ecosystem.4 trillion. Species and populations may be lost permanently. Elimination of a species is a normal process of the natural world as part of the evolutionary change.000 elephants in 1980 mainly for ivory tusks.

In these situations. In-situ methods use conservation areas as "warehouses" of biological information. population growth and patterns of consumption. gene banks.international ban on ivory trade in 1989 dried up the ivory trade and greatly reduced poaching. management. Other reasons for conserving biodiversity include securing valuable Natural Resources for future generations and protecting the well being of eco-system functions. Biodiversity can be conserved through methods which include the development or adaptation of other ecosystems management methods and strategies and integration with indigenous methods and strategies which were relevant. Ex-situ methods focus on species conservation in botanic gardens. which lead to increased demand for ecosystem services and energy. The idea behind these laws is to conserve the resource for future use and to preserve wildlife for its own sake. These institutional gene banks are vital for safeguarding germplasm. Trade in wild species for pets is an enormous business posing a threat to biodiversity. conservation of the basic frame work of local cultures is essential to preserve existing genetic tool. it is necessary to find ways to ensure the preservation of germplasm of cultivated crops some of this includes gene banks. Conservation can not be conducted in isolation from humans and for conservation to be successful and sustainable there needs to be local community involvement. Endangered species act (ESA) This is a powerful and new approach to wildlife and biodiversity conservation measure where violators of such an act are subjected to very strict punitive measures. Preserving the cultural and genetic basis for agricultural biodiversity. and include further designation of land and areas of    . National parks. Currently. Methods of biodiversity conservation. in many areas biodiversity relates to cultural transformation of many species or varieties of plants and animals. Biodiversity conservation can also be accomplished in these two ways.  Preserving the cultural and genetic basis for agricultural biodiversity. For example in 1973 the USA implemented a similar Act where the violators were fined up to $ 100. preservation. To assist in the defense of these bicultural resources. Such legal measures will ensure that people will not undertake any activities that will lead to biodiversity loss for fear of facing the harsh punitive measures. zoos. the number of protected areas grew by over 22 000 ( Chape and others2005) and currently stands at more than 115 000 WDPA 2006) Responses to the continuing loss of biodiversity are varied.000 and one year of imprisonment. are the most important drivers affecting biodiversity. these treaties and laws are normally products of international environmental conventions and environmental summits like the Kyoto protocol. game reserves and protected lands During the past 20 years. or restoration of wildlife and natural resources such as forests and water. Conservation is the protection. Through the conservation of biodiversity the survival of many species and habitats which are threatened due to human activities can be ensured. International wildlife and environmental treaties International laws and treaties that help in the conservation of biodiversity should be adopted and implemented by all states.  Hunting and fishing laws States and governments can enact laws that help regulate overexploitation through hunting and fishing. and captive breeding programs.

Biodiversity conservation policy framework at both the national and global scale should be adopted to conserve bio-diversity. McGraw-hill. Extensive research has over the past 20 years been ongoing. The use of innovative agricultural practices to enhance production while conserving native biodiversity. Integrated multi–sectoral approach that ensures inclusion of lessons learned in ongoing management of natural resources in agricultural and energy production will greatly help in the conservation of the natural habitat and consequently help in bio-diversity conservation. These approaches offer significant prospects for restoring degraded lands and help conserve bio-diversity. The rapid ascent of biodiversity loss in the international arena is somewhat surprising. the improved management for biodiversity in production landscapes and seascapes. Integrating conservation and development to mitigate loss of biodiversity. Environmental science: a global concern. Local and community initiatives remain crucial for supporting agricultural approaches that maintain biodiversity.    water within protected areas. new York 2001. Milton park. Biodiversity friendly agricultural practices. many scientific and environmental forums and conventions are being held at every level and on the global scale to look into how to best preserve our environmental for a sustainable future. organic agriculture and integrated pest management will greatly contribute towards sustainability of production landscape and in this way contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. www. John Hannigan. National and global scale biodiversity conservation legislation and policy formulation. and increasingly. reverse land degradation and foster environmental sustainability. Environmental sociology. References. 1. 2nd edition. 6th edition. Biodiversity loss has been seen not to be purely an environmental problem but is also an economic and political question. .org 2. National legislative and policy measures on land tenure and land use practices are key to facilitating wide-scale adoption of proven biodiversity supporting methodologies and technological options in agriculture. when this is adopted and implemented on the global and large-scale then biodiversity will be conserved immensely. National and global level of policy formulation and concerted efforts to ensure biodiversity conservation for a sustainable environment should be developed and such measures should be adopted unanimously by all states and stakeholders. USA 2007 3.unep. strengthen local institutions and create options for value-added income generation. Conclusion. Integrated land management approaches Integrated land management approaches are also helping to enhance ecosystem resilience through participatory processes that engage and empower farmers. Cunningham-saigo. agricultural biodiversity-friendly practices include integrating trees on farms (agro forestry).

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