Ícaro Rocha de Almeida
Word count: 516
Discuss the benefits to humans of biodiversity, and outline with examples the most important current threats to biodiversity. Biodiversity is an important topic in the modern globalized world; from its enormous potentials to its concerns. Biodiversity means: “The variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable.” according to the Oxford Dictionary; it influences almost everything that surround you: from the fruit you eat to the clothes you wear. Biodiversity underpins the World: several businesses have an equilibrated and sustainable ecosystem as a requirement to remain lawful, possible and promising; some of them depend and/or derive benefits from biodiversity, such as: farming, food processing, retail, brewing and distilling, pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals (Scottish Diversity Forum, 2010). On agriculture, a number of curious figures can be exposed: out of 10 million species of plants, animals and microbes, constituting the biota (Pimm et al. , 1995), only 12 kinds of plants are responsible for 75% of the world’s food supply (Gaston and Spicer, 2004), being the majority of 60% comprising only 3 out of the 12 categories: rice, wheat and corn (Wilson, 1988). Natural medicines are trusted by more than 60% of people as a important primary health care resource (Harvey, 2000). From 1983 to 1994, 520 new drugs were approved, of which 39% were natural or derived from natural assets (Gaston and Spicer, 2004). Another significant aspect of biodiversity is culture and leisure where tourism, more specifically ecotourism, is a growing business (Gaston and Spicer, 2004); in 1988, 157-236 million people were involved in international ecotourism, contributing between 93 and 233 billion dollars to national incomes (Filion et al. 1994). All these affairs which depend on biodiversity are presently being threatened by our bad consumption...
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