Preservation of biodiversity is one of the main tasks that humanity has to solve in the present and future. The extent to which people manage to preserve nature in the form in which it was during the last several thousand years before the industrial revolution depends on the survival of man as a species. Man's actions for the first time in the history of his development began to threaten his existence.
Importance of the task
Rapid changes in climate, fauna and flora, extinction of species cannot but affect the lives of millions of people. After all, man cannot live outside of nature. He is its integral part, and together with the rest of the inhabitants of the planet participates in the circulation of substances in nature. If people fail to save the planet, humanity will soon die out. Even today, huge areas of once fertile lands and impenetrable forests have turned into deserts. The need to preserve biodiversity has arisen recently, when human activity has become a threat to himself as a species.
Human activity as the main factor of destruction
Over the past two hundred years, people have made a colossal breakthrough in science. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries are the time when automobiles, trains, airplanes, electricity and electronic devices were invented. Plants and factories with smoking chimneys and sewage have appeared in cities.
Agriculture has also changed. People began to use not only powerful modern machinery, tractors and combines, but also various chemicals and fertilizers; plow and use new lands. Human activity destroys the natural habitat. Wild animals and plants simply have nowhere to live. Having lost their natural habitat, they are dying out.
Hunting and poaching damage
Hunting for rare species of animals and plants causes considerable harm. In this case, mainly high-level organisms and plants suffer. Those who have the hardest time adapting to new conditions, but who are also the most important in the food chain. The disappearance of one species means the death of others associated with it. For example, the extermination of wolves that feed on deer will lead to an increase in the population of the latter. The number of deer will increase so much that they will not have enough food. The mass death of artiodactyls will begin.
It is natural that extinct species will be replaced by others, nature does not tolerate emptiness, but what kind of animals and plants will they be? Will a person be able to coexist peacefully with them? Man is complexa multicellular organism that cannot change as rapidly as protozoa and bacteria. Therefore, it is important to preserve nature in the state in which it is now or several centuries ago. Humans simply cannot survive if biodiversity is destroyed as natural habitats disappear.
Causes of biodiversity destruction
The main problem of biodiversity conservation is the irresponsible attitude of man towards the environment. This applies not only to the thoughtless waste of natural resources. Man clogs the air, soil, water with dangerous substances. Heaps of rubbish are scattered all over the planet. At the same time, it is made of substances that do not decompose over time or whose decomposition period is millions of years. Garbage appeared even in Antarctica, which was previously considered the cleanest continent. The greatest damage to the environment is caused by:
- Industrial emissions into the atmosphere. When burning, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are released, as well as volatile sulfur compounds, which mix with water droplets in the atmosphere. Because of this, acid rains fall, killing all life.
- Drainage of sewage from enterprises into rivers and lakes. Wastewater contains heavy metal compounds and toxic organic compounds (fuel oil, pesticides). They lead to swamping of the reservoir, the death of fish, molluscs, and some types of algae.
- Oil and gas leaks. They are dangerous both at sea and on land. Any plant or animal caught in oil slicks or gasdies.
- Dumping instead of recycling. Garbage dumps and landfills cause irreparable harm to the environment. Most of it either does not decompose, or, when decomposed, releases hazardous substances into the environment.
- Changing the landscape. This applies not only to the construction of cities and factories, but also to digging quarries, building dams and dams, draining swamps.
- Deforestation. The destruction of the forests of Siberia, North and South America, Africa, Australia has led to dramatic climate changes. Forests not only recycled most of the carbon dioxide before, they prevented the growth of deserts. They were home to many species of animals that, having lost their usual habitat, go into the city and attack people.
The most dangerous thing is that if you do not take action, the consequences will become irreversible. Only a change in the behavior of all people will help to avoid a catastrophe. The threat to the existence of mankind is the main reason for the conservation of the biodiversity of the planet. People will have to restructure their behavior and attitude towards nature. Otherwise, a painful process of extinction awaits them.
Establishment of a committee and the responsibility of the state for the conservation of nature
The reaction of the world community to the too rapid changes in the world was the creation of the organization for the protection of the environment (WWF). Principles and methods for biodiversity conservation have been developed. Thanks to the efforts of this organization, the extinction of species has been stopped or slowed down. The main direction was the distributionresponsibility for reducing the number of rare plants and animals in the territory of a particular country. Each state became responsible for all changes in the population of endangered species on its territory.
To fulfill the task of preserving nature, they first carry out monitoring, that is, they collect information about the state of flora and fauna, then analyze it, and then look for ways to preserve biodiversity and ways to increase the number of endangered species. Observation of species of animals and plants and their study, scientists have carried out before, but then the tasks were different. About two hundred years ago, the main task was to find, describe and count the number, determine the class and species. In our time, this is not enough, scientists also have to track the dynamics of changes in numbers, determine the cause of its sharp decline and develop measures to restore.
What measures are being taken?
The world community has developed and adopted some tools to reduce the negative impact on nature due to human activities. Basically, these are new environmental safety standards and quotas for emissions and the use of natural resources. And if there are no complaints about environmental standards, then many environmentalists have questions about distribution and redistribution. According to the rules, each country is allocated certain quotas, they can be sold to other countries.
On the one hand, this seems fair, but on the other hand, it leads to distortions in the system. As a result, inIn some states, the volumes of emissions are frighteningly huge, the ecology of the territory is experiencing a colossal harmful effect. In others, the environmental situation is within acceptable limits. But all plants and animals, including humans, live on the same planet, where everything is interconnected.
It turns out that in one state the natural ecosystem will be completely destroyed, and in the other it will remain, which means that everyone will lose. For example, in one place on the planet, the air turned out to be contaminated with lead compounds. The wind will blow them all over the earth. Not only the air will become infected, but also the soil and water.
The magical effect of environmental standards
The application of environmental standards has the greatest impact. Not only do they limit emissions, but they also encourage manufacturers to use better production methods, renewable energy sources, and recycle waste and garbage instead of dumping them in special landfills. The main condition for the conservation of biodiversity is to prevent the complete destruction of the ecosystem both in a separate territory and on the entire planet. This problem is solved by environmental standards. However, there is another problem: what to do with endangered species? Restoring and maintaining the ecosystem is not enough for this. More action is needed to increase the number of endangered animal and plant species.
Cloning as a way to restore the population
The most radical way to restore and maintain the population of an animal is considered to be cloning.It is used only if the number has decreased to several tens or even a few individuals. This is a last resort, as cloning is expensive, and the prospects for increasing the population are vague, since genetically the offspring of clones will be less viable.
One of the large-scale projects created by the World Wildlife Conservation Organization was the creation of a new ark in the Arctic. It contains seeds and genetic samples of almost every plant and animal known to man. And although it is created in case of a global man-made disaster, in the future it may turn out to be a good tool for restoring the population of certain species if they cannot be saved. Such a biodiversity conservation strategy may seem like a fantastic idea, but in fact it may be the most effective of all. Technology is advancing, and it is possible that people in the future will be able to restore the former biodiversity, if the need arises.
Reasons for the destruction of biodiversity in Russia
The main reason for the rapid extinction of species in Russia is poaching, including from the closest neighbors. Poachers have almost completely exterminated the Ussuri tiger. Its skin and body parts are used in Chinese traditional medicine. They are very expensive, therefore, despite the threat of severe punishment, tigers continue to be exterminated, although recently it has become more difficult to do so. There are no more than 400 of them left, and scientists are intensifiedmonitoring.
In order to restore the population, they also use the method of growing animals and plants, first in artificial conditions, after a while they begin to prepare them for independent life in the wild, and then they are released into the wild. They continue to be monitored and, in some cases, provided veterinary care. But this way of preserving biodiversity is not suitable for all living organisms, as some animals do not tolerate captivity.
Ways to increase the population of endangered species in Russia
One of the most effective ways to preserve biodiversity in Russia is the creation of nature reserves, monitoring and limiting hunting (catching, gathering) of rare, endangered animals and plants. The large territory of the country allows the creation of extensive protected areas. Due to their large area, they are very similar to their natural habitat, which is favorable for the reproduction of animals that can hardly tolerate captivity.