Word count: 1,126
Due date: 17/11/2014
Biodiversity and Society
Biodiversity has remained an integral factor for enabling the existence of life. The English Oxford Dictionary, (2014) defines biodiversity as the: “diversity of plant and animal life, especially as represented by the number of extant species.” Humankind rests dependent on the rich plant and animal species that exist today in our world whereby these species lay at the heart of sustaining ecosystems that are agricultural and natural (Myers 1994, Raven and Johnson 1992, and Wilson 1994, cited by Pimentel et al., 1997). The uses of biodiversity in society are various, including economic, medicinal and recreational purposes. However are such uses justifiable enough to enable the practice of biodiversity conservation? Figure 1 is a prime example of why biodiversity conservation is needed as a large number of species has become extinct already, therefore suggesting that humans are one of the main contributors towards species extinction and endangerment. At the same time Figure 1 reveals that dependent on the type of biodiversity use, biodiversity conservation can or cannot be justifiable. This essay will look in particular at economic, medicinal, recreational and touristic uses of biodiversity, finding out whether each type can justify biodiversity conservation.
Economic use of Biodiversity
The case study of Minsmere RSPB Reserve illustrates the impacts of recreational activities on the economy (Molloy et al., 2011). Just over 29% of visitor expenditure in 2001 directly supported local inco...
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...=biodiversity#eid] Date accessed: 14/11/2014.
Pimentel, D., Wilson, C., McCullum, C., Huang, R., Dwen, P. Flack, J., Tran, Q., Saltman, T. and Cliff, B. (1997) Economic and Environmental Benefits of Biodiversity In: BioScience. Vol. 47 No. 11 (p.747-757). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rees, S. E., Rodwell, L. D., Attrill, M. J., Austen, M. C. and Mangi, S. C. (2010) The value of marine biodiversity to the leisure and recreation industry and its application to marine spatial planning. In: Marine Policy. United Kingdom: Elsevier Ltd. Vol. 34 No. 5 (p. 868-875)
Singh, R. P. and Singh, J. P. (2014) Biodiversity – Use and Conservation [Accessed online: http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/agpc/doc/publicat/tapafon/tap_7.pdf] Date Accessed: 15/11/2014.
Vaughan, D. (2000) Tourism and biodiversity: a convergence of interests? International Affairs. Vol. 76 No. 2 (p. 283-297).
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