Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2013, Terence Hay-Edie and Bilgi Bulus, GEF Small Grants Programme, Dominique Bikaba, Strong Roots, "The Youth Guide to Biodiversity" 1st Edition (Chapter 9) Youth and United Nations global Alliance. Reproduced with permission.
Chapter 10. Verbatim.
What does “biodiversity” mean for people and for human development? The health of an ecosystem is closely related to the quality of life of its inhabitants. Biodiversity, as described in previous chapters, is a key component of the “environmental health” pillar of Sustainable development.
Biodiversity provides people with basic ecosystem goods and services. It provides goods such as food, fibre and medicine, and services such as air and water purification, climate regulation, erosion control and nutrient cycling.
Biodiversity also plays an important role in economic sectors that drive development, including agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism. More than three billion people rely on marine and coastal biodiversity, and 1.6 billion people rely on forests and non-timber forest products (e.g. the fruits from trees) for their livelihoods. Many people depend directly on the availability of usable land, water, plants and animals to support their families. In fact, ecosystems are the base of all economies.
It may be hard to see it at first, but when you look closely at the relationship between people and biodiversity, you will certainly recognise unsustainable behaviours. Try asking yourself some difficult questions!
'What if I didn't own this?'
‘Do I need every thing I own?’
‘What are my real needs?’
‘Am I aware of what I eat, how it is produced and how far it has travelled?’
‘Is my house energyefficient?’
‘What is my favourite means of transportation?’
‘Is my computer free of persistent organic pollutants (POPs)?’
‘Do I know how to save on electricity and gas?’
‘What are the social and environmental impacts of my lifestyle?’
‘What can I do to be more sustainable?’