By Ricardo Bruno Ojeda
This year 2011 will be dedicated to Forest Biological Diversity, the biological diversity of forests refers to all forms of life found in forests, including trees, plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms, and their roles in nature. The greatest threat to biological diversity is the destruction of ecosystems (forests, wetlands, coral reefs, lakes, coastal mangroves), due to causes that have their origin in human actions, including ongoing climate change, a disorder that constitutes the main challenge for the survival of the human species, together with the existence of nuclear weapons.
What is Biodiversity? The word "biodiversity" is made up of the Greek word "bios" (life) and the Latin word "diversitas" (diversity or difference). In general, therefore, biodiversity means: diversity of life, therefore Biodiversity is the variety of living things that inhabit the Earth.
According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP, Biological Diversity or Biodiversity constitutes "the variability among living organisms from all sources, including, among others, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems, as well as the ecological complexes of which they are part, this includes diversity within species, between species and ecosystems Biological diversity is evident at all levels of organization of living beings.
The General Assembly, by virtue of resolution 55/201 of December 20, 2000, proclaimed May 22 as the International Day of Biological Diversity (IDB), to commemorate the approval of the text of resolution 54/221, of December 22, 1999, relative to the Convention on Biological Diversity. And it has also expressed (A / RES / 55/201) its deep concern over the fact that biological diversity in the world continues to decline.
This year 2011 will be dedicated to Forest Biological Diversity, the biological diversity of forests refers to all forms of life found in forests, including trees, plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms, and their roles in nature. The complexity and rich diversity of life found in forests provide many vital services to humans.
Forests contain some of the most vibrant ecosystems on our planet. They are home to a wonderful variety of birds, animals, insects, and plants and are vital to the health and well-being of people, particularly those who live in or around forests. Forests provide fuel, building materials, natural medicines, and food. They also play a critical role in regulating water flows and climate.
However, the world's forests face immense pressures and societies are in a race against time to find ways to conserve and sustainably use forests for the benefit of present and future generations. The main findings of the 2010 Global Forest Resources Assessment show that while deforestation has slowed somewhat in recent years compared to the 1990s, it is still alarmingly high. Continued deforestation translates into carbon emissions, scarcity of water, food supply, and an unprecedented loss of biological diversity.
The loss of Biodiversity is advancing at a rate never seen before: a thousand times higher than historical records. Such a high rate leads to a mass extinction of animals and plants in less than 100 years. During the last of the 5 great extinctions that have occurred, 65 million years ago, 75% of species disappeared, including dinosaurs.
The greatest threat to biological diversity is the destruction of ecosystems (forests, wetlands, coral reefs, lakes, coastal mangroves), due to causes that have their origin in human actions, including ongoing climate change, a disorder that constitutes the main challenge for the survival of the human species, together with the existence of nuclear weapons.
Almost 48 thousand species are now threatened worldwide and 17 thousand of them are in danger of extinction (UNEP data), the risk affects 21% of mammals, 30% of amphibians, 12% of birds, 28% of reptiles, 37% of freshwater fish, 70% of plants and 35% of invertebrates.
Biodiversity, recognized as the most important human heritage, is the set of all species that exist on the planet. Its loss is equivalent to the loss of our quality of life as a species, and in extreme cases, to our own extinction. In other times, man was insignificant compared to nature; Today, despite the intellectual development that man reaches every day, we have not become a potential threat to the planet. Tropical, temperate and boreal forests are home to the vast majority of the world's terrestrial species.
• 80% of people in developing countries trust traditional medicines - up to half of these medicinal substances originate from plants found mainly in tropical forests
• Two-thirds of all major cities in developing countries depend on the surrounding forests for their drinking water supply
• In the last 8000 years, approximately 45% of the original forests on Earth have disappeared, most of which cleared during the last century
• Approximately 14 million hectares of the world's forests are lost due to deforestation each year, an area the size of Greece
• Up to 100 species of animals and plants are believed to disappear per day along with these tropical forest habitats
• Emissions from deforestation can contribute to approximately 20% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions.
• More than three-quarters of the world's drinking water comes from forest waterways
• More than six million hectares of primary tropical forests, which are especially rich in biological diversity, are lost each year
Forests are gigantic natural stores of carbon that, when deforested worldwide, release tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. For this reason, protecting forests is considered a key strategy to mitigate climate change. Tropical forests are a lung for the planet, the Amazon, for example, in its exchange of gases with the atmosphere releases more than 50% of the oxygen necessary for the life of all species.
It is very important that it be understood that the care of forests and jungles is necessary worldwide, since trees constitute a natural reserve for the different ecosystems that populate them and for the millions of people in the world who live on their resources. However, unfortunately, human action is causing a destruction of forests and jungles unprecedented in human history.
Every day that passes the World Biodiversity is strongly affected by the irrational activity of man. Thus, the certainty that life and the balance of the planet are threatened by false conceptions of human development, is more than reality and Biodiversity. Biológica de los Bosques does not escape this alarming situation.
Nobody escapes that this problem can only be faced successfully through a concerted action of THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, due to the interdependence between the various ecosystems that maintain the balance of life on earth, human beings must become aware of the danger that The human species and in general all the species on the planet run from disappearing at the hands of ourselves due to our irresponsibility and the exploitation without measure of the natural resources that the Earth kindly offered us and that we did not know how to conserve or take care of, hopefully this day never arrive and we can save not only the forests but the entire planet.
Ricardo Bruno Ojeda