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Day 42 – Q 3.Explain the concept of biodiversity as a scarce resource. What are the ongoing and potential impacts of biodiversity loss on the resource front? Examine.

3. Explain the concept of biodiversity as a scarce resource. What are the ongoing and potential impacts of biodiversity loss on the resource front? Examine.  

जैव विविधता की अवधारणा को एक दुर्लभ संसाधन के रूप में समझाइए। संसाधन के मोर्चे पर जैव विविधता के नुकसान के चल रहे और संभावित प्रभाव क्या हैं? जांच करें।


Biodiversity can be defined as ‘the variety of life forms, the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems they form’


Biodiversity as a scarce resource:

  • Biodiversity underpins the health of the planet and has a direct impact on all our lives. It provides Ecosystem services. That could be water, soil formation and protection, pollution breakdown and absorption, climate stability and recovery from natural disasters.
  • According to IUCN, the World Conservation Union, the monetary value of goods and services provided by ecosystems is estimated to amount to some US$33 trillion per year.
  • Biodiversity changes affect ecosystem functioning and significant disruptions of ecosystems can result in life sustaining ecosystem goods and services.

Impacts of biodiversity loss on the resource front:

Food security:

  • Put simply, reduced biodiversity means millions of people face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease, and where fresh water is in irregular or short supply.
  • About 100 million metric tonnes of aquatic life, including fish, molluscs and crustaceans are taken from the wild every year.
  • Meat from wild animals forms a critical contribution to food sources and livelihoods in many countries, especially those with high levels of poverty and food insecurity.

Biodiversity loss also means that we are losing, before discovery, many of nature’s chemicals and genes, of the kind that have already provided humankind with enormous health benefits.

Nutritional impact of biodiversity

  • Nutritional composition between foods and among varieties/cultivars/breeds of the same food can differ dramatically, affecting micronutrient availability in the diet.
  • Healthy local diets, with adequate average levels of nutrients intake, necessitates maintenance of high biodiversity levels.

Importance of biodiversity for health research and traditional medicine:

  • Traditional medicines are estimated to be used by 60% of the world’s population and in some countries are extensively incorporated into the public health system.
  • Medicinal plant use is the most common medication tool in traditional medicine and complementary medicine worldwide. Medicinal plants are supplied through collection from wild populations and cultivation.

Loss of Livelihood

  • Many communities rely on natural products collected from ecosystems for economic, cultural and medicinal purposes, in addition to food.


Biodiversity also provides 

  • Raw materials Eg. Clothing, 
  • Cultural identity of tribes,
  • Opportunities for recreation, tourism,
  • Scientific research and education etc., 


It is the poor, particularly those in developing and emerging economies, who stand to suffer the most from the loss of ecosystem services. Preserving biodiversity is thus necessary if we are to fight global poverty and attain the Sustainable Development Goals.

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