Biodiversity encompasses the genetic variation within species, the variety and population abundance of species in an ecosystem, and the habitats across a landscape. Monitoring trends in biodiversity and ecosystem health helps us make informed decisions regarding resource management.
Earth’s ecosystems have evolved for millions of years. This process has resulted in diverse and complex biological communities, living in balance with their environment. These diverse ecosystems also provide people with food, fresh water, clean air, energy, medicine and recreation. Over the past 100 years, however, nature and the services it provides to humanity are at extreme risk.
Life supports life itself. As we lose biodiversity, we lose the natural world and our life support systems. We depend on nature for everything. Scientists have warned us that human actions are pushing life on our planet toward a sixth mass extinction. Evidence in the Living Planet Report supports this fact. Wildlife populations have already shown a rapid decline, on average by 58 percent since 1970. We are likely to lose 67 percent by the end of the decade.
In addition to poaching, deforestation and human conflicts are serious threats to endangered species, including the tiger, orangutan, mountain gorilla, elephant and rhino.
Forest conservation and reforestation are two of the integrated solutions that must be employed to stabilize the wild populations. Saving wildlife habitat is critical to the survival of all species.
We are directing a massive forest conservation program in East Africa now.
It also includes reforestation, economic development, sustainable agriculture, community education and more to help improve wildlife conservation efforts throughout the region. We’re adding more in Asia and the Americas soon.