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One Biosphere

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					Biodiversity provides the foundation for our sustainable biosphere and
ecosystems. Our biosphere provides all the resources for our survival.
Biodiversity is essential to provide improved opportunities for medical
discoveries, improved economic development, and more adaptable responses
to challenges such as climate change.             It is well established
that genetic defects are caused by in-breeding. To avoid this problem,
all living species require a broad gene pool to ensure sustainable
survival. Otherwise, the odds of extinction of a species are amplified.
Biodiversity impacts the daily lives of all humans and contributes to our
standard of living and well-being. It imparts a variety of basic
products such as food and fibers. However, there are many essential
services which are not generally known. Bacteria and microbes transform
waste into usable products, insects pollinate flowers and crops, coral
reefs and salt water coastal habitats protect coastlines. A wide variety
of biologically-diverse landscapes and coastlines provide enjoyment for
many millions of people.            Experts have opined that genetic
diversity has been in rapid decline for many years. When products and
services offered by biodiversity are managed poorly, long-term options
become more restricted. Local ecosystems are often vulnerable to
ecosystem change.       Areas lacking biodiversity have restricted
development potential. Ecosystems have been transformed and irreversibly
degraded. A variety of plant and animal species have become extinct or
are threatened with extinction.         The actions of humans have
reduced biodiversity on terrestrial and fresh and salt water environments
at a much more rapid pace than at any time in human history. Many of the
world's ecosystem services have been degraded dramatically, some probably
irrevocably.          Human benefits of natural ecosystems are known as
ecosystem services and these include resources, processes and products
like clean drinking water, waste decomposition, increases in forest area
and productivity, creating surplus land for agricultural extensification,
biofuel production, soil fertility and forest fires. There are
categories of ecosystem services such as provisioning (e.g. production of
food and water); regulating (e.g. control of climate and disease);
supporting (e.g. nutrient cycles and crop pollination); cultural (e.g.
spiritual and recreational benefits); and preserving, (e.g. protecting
against uncertainty by maintaining diversity).          Reducing the rate
of loss of biodiversity and ensuring that land use decisions incorporate
the comprehensive values of all goods and services granted by
biodiversity will play a major role in achieving sustainable progress.
Biodiversity plays a critical role in providing sources of revenue
security for people. It is particularly important for the economic
lifeblood of the rural poor and for regulating local environmental
conditions. Functional ecosystems are crucial buffers against dynamic
climate features as carbon sinks and filters for water and air
pollutants.            The quickening pace of reduced biodiversity may be
related to our increasing energy usage. Our growing energy needs cause
fundamental changes in species and ecosystems. At the local level, the
availability of biomass energy is threatened, at the federal level,
energy prices are changing government policies, and internationally,
climate change due to fossil fuel usage is reducing species territories
and survival rates. Scientists are concerned that there will be
deleterious impacts on the proliferation of infectious diseases and the
spread of invasive alien species. The issues of global warming and
biodiversity loss are described in detail at http://www.onebiosphere.com
Intangible Benefits of Diversity        Biodiversity offers several
intangible benefits to human civilization, including cultural identity,
spirituality, inspiration, recreation and aesthetic pleasure. Our
culture energizes conservation efforts and sustainable usage of
biodiversity. In psychological terms, we suffer a loss of humanity and
well being as biodiversity declines. The continued loss of biodiversity
and the disruption of cultural honor represent obstacles towards the
attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).         The MDGs
are eight international development goals that 189 United Nations member
states and 23 international organizations agreed to achieve by the year
2015. They include integrating sustainable development into country
policies and programs, reversing loss of environmental resources,
reducing poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease
epidemics such as AIDS and developing a global partnership for
development.


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posted:8/20/2011
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