Biodiversity and health

Healthy human communities depend on healthy ecosystems. They are necessary for men to ensure clean air, fresh water, medicine and food. They also reduce the possibility for illnesses and stabilize the climate. Despite all of this, biodiversity suffers huge losses because of human activities.

People depend on biodiversity every day of their lives, in ways that are not always visible or valued. Human health depends on ecosystem products such as water, food and fuel. These are the key elements for good health and a productive and active life. The loss of biodiversity could result in direct changes in people’s health if ecosystem services stop fulfilling social needs. Indirectly, the changes in ecosystem services impact households, salaries and income, local migrations, sometimes they might even lead to military or political conflicts.

Additionally, biodiversity of microorganisms, flora and fauna ensures the development of pharmacological sciences. Big medical and pharmacological discoveries are made with thorough research of biodiversity on Earth. So the loss of species can limit the researching potential for new treatment methods and drugs. As biodiversity decreases, the concern for human health increases. There is loss of species as well as new natural chemical substances that might save millions of people or maybe the humanity.

Biodiversity has a key role in people’s diet. All the products we use in our diet are in fact part of biodiversity. Biodiversity also indirectly protects food production through conservation of soils, regulation of climate and protection from pests. The access to sufficient quantities of variety of foods is very important for human health. It is ironic that modern food production reduces biodiversity the most. Intensive farming, the unsustainable consumption of water, the use of pesticides and fertilizers as well as the cultivation of monocultures are the greatest enemies of biodiversity.

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