Biodiversity Matters. Here’s Why:

biodiversity climate change

There are two significant dangers to our planet, climate change and biodiversity loss. Everyone knows or has heard something about climate change, but biodiversity isn’t something every layperson has discussed around a table of friends at happy hour. For most of us science buffs, it’s the bread and butter to our nerdy-friend congregations, but to the average person this term isn’t synonymous with things we should be focusing on to reduce climate change.

biodiversity climate changeBiodiversity includes species, genetic, and ecosystem diversity which encompasses the entire realm of variety within an environment. Some may ask why this should matter, and the reason this topic is important is that biodiversity within an environment leads to a stronger, more resilient ecosystem. We sometimes forget that ecosystems are living and breathing, and they can only withstand a certain threshold before something gives. Once that threshold is surpassed, the ecosystem is in danger of being too damaged to recover. Again, why does this matter?


How does this help me?

Having to bring this back to “but how does this help me?” is an inevitability of being part of the human species. We are great in many ways, but we are certainly one of the most selfish species in the animal kingdom. So, the great thing about having a strong biodiverse ecosystem is that they unavoidably aid us in our adaptation to climate change. Like a newborn without a blanket, we would be helpless to the effects of climate change. Biodiverse ecosystems around the world are supporting human populations by providing oxygen, reducing vulnerability to hurricanes, rising sea levels, coastal erosion, droughts and floods!

This makes biodiversity an essential topic to include while in the conversation about climate change. Without stronger ecosystems, we would no longer be able to adapt as efficiently as we have been. Remembering that everything in the environment is connected, there are also ways to harm the biodiversity even with the best intentions. Actions that solely focus on one aspect of climate change or biodiversity degradation could end up having adverse effects on the entire ecosystem. This is why policies that focus on the entire ecosystem, paying close attention to biodiversity, have the best change of enacting real change.



One change that could help marine ecosystems in particular is the protection and restoration of mangroves. As we discussed in a previous article, mangroves are essential to any coastal community and are also vital for local marine life. Restoring these areas could potentially enrich the carbon stocks and additionally increase biodiversity of native species. Remember, a diverse ecosystem is a stronger ecosystem! Biodiversity matters, in fact– it’s essential! Creating policies and objectives that consider biodiversity along with climate change will be the saving grace to mitigating the effects we are seeing in our ecosystems.

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