Can we save biodiversity ?

Today Biodiversity is threatened. According to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) around 20 000 species could disappear.

More than 400 plants and animals have joined the endangered species list since the last version, presented in June at the Rio +20 summit.

We can take for example Madagascar’s species of palm trees.  The International Union for the Conservation of Nature said that extinction threatens 80 percent of the island’s native palm trees. Palms are an important part of Madagasgar’s forest. All the 192 species of palm trees are unique to the island. A mere thirty specimens of the giant (18 meters) Tahina Palm still exist. Palm trees are also important for Madagascar’s communities, providing edible palm hearts and materials for house construction.

The current rate of extinction is 100 to 1,000 times higher than the average rate of extinction since the appearance of life on Earth. Some argues that we have entered the sixth mass extinction of species, the most recent dating back to the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago.

Erosion of biodiversity threatens the existence of billions of people who depend on their livelihood. Many species of animals or plants are essential to men, giving them food or work. An Indian economist, Pavan Sukhdev, has put a price on the services provided by nature. He believes that the costs of erosion of biodiversity are between 1350 and 3100 billion per year. For example, the flowering plants are largely dependent on animals (insects, including bees, birds, bats) for reproduction, pollination.

An alternative to insect pollination is manually carry pollen from one flower to another to ensure agricultural production. The monetary value of the service is the cost of labor required to replace the different pollinating insects.

At the 2010 Biodiversity summit in Nagoya, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity agreed on the ‘Big Plan to save nature’. The Parties meet again, this time in Hyderabad, India, to discuss which progress has been made. The first observation at this conference is that biodiversity continues to decline. Agreement was adopted in Hyderabad to double financial aid to developing countries by 2015. In return, developing countries should provide guarantees on the use of funds. Countries should develop national policies to preserve biodiversity.





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