World Biodiversity Day 2010

For information regarding this important day:

WESSA announcement regarding World Biodiversity Day.

Will you be a Green Leader? - UNEP's business case for biodiversity

This brochure is a summary of a longer publication that reviews the business case for biodiversity; provides an overview of impacts by sector; and highlights practical business and biodiversity initiatives. This publication was a background document developed for the Biodiversity and Business conference organized by UNEP and the Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity, hosted by the Government of Indonesia in 2009. The conference combined UNEP’s 2009 Business and Industry Global Dialogue and the CBD Secretariat’s Third Business and the 2010 Biodiversity Challenge Conference. (For more see www.cbd.int/business).

The longer publication covers eleven sectors – mining, energy, agrifood, fisheries, construction, forestry, tourism, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fashion and finance. It can be downloaded at www.unep.fr/scp/business.

We are at the start of a new wave of business thinking.

With Biodiversity 2010 we invite you to be a part of this new wave - it makes good environmental and business sense!

 

Biodiversity

"Value of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

 

Biological diversity - or biodiversity - is the term given to the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms. The biodiversity we see today is the fruit of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and, increasingly, by the influence of humans. It forms the web of life of which we are an integral part and upon which we so fully depend. View of Mondero ridges with housing and Southgate shopping centre

This diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms. So far, about 1.75 million species have been identified, mostly small creatures such as insects. Scientists reckon that there are actually about 13 million species, though estimates range from three to 100 million.

Biodiversity also includes genetic differences within each species - for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock. Chromosomes, genes, and DNA-the building blocks of life-determine the uniqueness of each individual and each species.

Yet another aspect of biodiversity is the variety of ecosystems such as those that occur in deserts, forests, wetlands, mountains, lakes, rivers, and agricultural landscapes. In each ecosystem, living creatures, including humans, form a community, interacting with one another and with the air, water, and soil around them.

It is the combination of life forms and their interactions with each other and with the rest of the environment that has made Earth a uniquely habitable place for humans. Biodiversity provides a large number of goods and services that sustain our lives.

Protecting biodiversity is in our self-interest. Biological resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Nature's products support such diverse industries as agriculture, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, horticulture, construction and waste treatment. The loss of biodiversity threatens our food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and sources of wood, medicines and energy. It also interferes with essential ecological functions. " (Source:  - Convention on Biological Diversity: http://www.cbd.int/2010/biodiversity/ - to read more click here)

The Klipriviersberg Conservancy has a wide diversity of ecosystems which includes ridges, rivers, grasslands and urban areas. This provides highly valued natural environment which is under real threat from further urban development. It is of critical importance that the natural environment and its ecosystems are protected and managed to promote human well-being with a balanced and appropriate approach to economic and social developement. Development within the area of the Conservancy needs to address and prevent any further loss of the ecological infrastructure and preferably it must promote the restoration and growth of the biodiversity value of the area.

The biodiversity value can then be realised through the harvesting of the ecological goods and services for the benefit of current and future local communities to contribute to social and economic dvelopment and strengthen the local, regional and national economy.

 

 

 

Links

South African National Biodiversity Institute

2010 International Year of Biodiversity

Convention on Biological Diversity

WESSA

 

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