Anthropocentrism has caused rapid extinction of the biodiversity despite knowing its huge importance and obvious impacts of its extinction. As the Environment New Service, reported back in August 1999: “the current extinction rate is now approaching 1,000 times the background rate and may climb to 10,000 times the background rate during the next century, if present trends continue [resulting in] a loss that would easily equal those of past extinctions.” WWF stated that Earth is unable to keep in struggle to provide the demands that we humans put on it.
According to IUCN, 1 of 8 species of birds, 1 out of 4 mammals, 1 out of 4 conifers, 1 out of 3 amphibians and 6 out of 7 marine turtles are at the verge of threat to extinction. About 75% of genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost, 75% of the world’s fisheries are fully or over exploited, up to 70% of the world’s known species risk extinction if the global temperatures rise by more than 3.5°C, 1/3rd of reef-building corals around the world are threatened with extinction and over 350 million people suffer from severe water scarcity (IUCN Reports).
There are five principle pressures that prevail and oppose the reduction in the loss of biodiversity according to UN’s Global Biodiversity Outlook; habitat loss and degradation, climate change, excessive nutrient load, over exploitation, and invasive species.
Change in land use has also served as a major reason for the loss of biodiversity. Taking the case of Pakistan, deforestation and conversion of wild land to agricultural land for human benefit has not only served the purpose of degrading the environment but also caused the extinction of precious wild species of plants and animals.
Biodiversity is a very important factor for obtaining a sustainable livelihood and its extinction is the most important factor of causing unsustainability. Several projects have been launched on global scale in order to promote conservation of biodiversity. People are now getting aware of the importance of biodiversity and what it means for their future generations. But there is a long way ahead. If sustainable practices are used and no stone be left unturned to minimize the effect of extinct species and conserving the ones being threatened by human activities, agricultural and industrial revolutions, then we might expect a safe future for the generations to come. The need of hour is to take initiatives of conservation at local and community levels.
By: Aimon Tanvir Malghani