It is often claimed that biodiversity loss is a natural trend, occurring throughout the history of life on earth. While it is true that there is a constant level of background species extinction with periodic natural mass extinctions, the current rate of extinction is alarming and is also occurring much faster and surprisingly it is the only extinction induced by human activity. The conservation of biodiversity is not a problem peculiar to a particular state but a problem of the entire human race.1
Over-consumption of resources is a large contributing factor to biodiversity loss. It forces the conversion of forests and wildlife habitat into agricultural land. Waste from this process pollutes and infects the surrounding habitats, greatly reducing genetic diversity and sometimes completely eliminating species. This, coupled with population growth, drains the ability for ecosystems and their resources to regenerate. Increasing demands of globalization and consumption have also made a significant impact on biodiversity loss. Various approaches have emphasized the protection for keystone species, endangered species, and areas known as biodiversity hot spots.2 The dangers of attempting to set priorities for preservation efforts are due to our ignorance of the value any particular species provides to the web of life, or the options value it might provide in a rapidly changing global environment.
This paper will attempt to deeply consider the importance of preserving our biodiversity, its root causes, and the legal regime in protecting the biological diversity.
1. Adebayo W. A (2017) Contemporary Issues in International Environmental Law, Ekiti State University Printing Press pp. 92
2. Hornaday, W.T., Our Vanishing Wildlife: Its Extermination and Preservation (Charles Scriber’s Sons 1913);
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
Environmental law, also known as environmental and natural resources law, is a collective term describing the network of treaties, statutes, regulations, common and customary laws addressing the effects of human activity on the natural environment.3 The core environmental law regimes address environmental pollution. A related but distinct set of regulatory regimes, now strongly influenced by environmental legal principles, focus on the management of specific natural resources, such as forests, minerals, or fisheries. Other areas, such as environmental impact assessment, may not fit neatly into either category, but are nonetheless important components of environmental law.
According to Lakshman D Guruswamy,4 opined that International Environmental Law is concerned with the attempt to control pollution and the depletion of natural resources within a framework of sustainable development. It is a branch of public international law.
The United Nations has designated 2011–2020 as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.5 In biodiversity, each species, no matter how big or small has an important role to play in ecosystem. Various plant and animal species depend on each other for what each offers and these diverse species ensures natural sustainability for all life forms. A healthy and solid biodiversity can recover itself from variety of disasters.
3. Kat Kadian Baumeyer (2015) International Journal on Organizational Leadership and Environmental Management.
4. Lakshman D Guruswamy, International Environmental Law in a Nutshell(West, 4th ed, 2012).
5. Preamble to the 1992 UN Convention
Also in the word of Kat Kadian Baumeyer,6 the principles, policies, directives, and regulations of international Environmental law are enacted and enforced by local, national, or international entities to regulate human treatment of the nonhuman world. The vast field covers a broad range of topics in diverse legal settings and international treaties for the protection of biological diversity and the ozonosphere. During the late 20th century environmental law developed from a modest adjunct of the law of public health regulations into an almost universally recognized independent field protecting both human health and nonhuman nature.
The Earth’s biological resources are vital to humanity’s economic and social development, as well as for the maintenance of ecosystem health. Countries have long recognized that species, ecosystems, and biological diversity are of tremendous value to present and future generations. At the same time, the threat to species and ecosystems has never been greater. Species extinction caused by human activities continues at an alarming rate. For these reasons, countries have adopted a range of international treaties to protect species, habitats, and biological diversity itself.
Biological Diversity abbreviated as “Biodiversity” is defined by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to mean the variability among living organisms from all sources including inter-alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.7
6. (2015) International Journal on Organizational Leadership and Environmental Management.
7. (Article 2 of the 1992 UN Convention).
According to Amokaye, G. O.8 “Biodiversity is generally used to describe the variety of living things and their relationships to each other and their interaction with the environment.”
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), biodiversity typically measures variation at the genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity tends to be greater near the equator, which seems to be the result of the warm climate and high primary productivity. Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth, and is richest in the tropics. These tropical forest ecosystems cover less than 10 percent of earth’s surface, and contain about 90 percent of the world’s species.9 Marine biodiversity tends to be highest along coasts in the Western Pacific, where sea surface temperature is highest, and in the mid-latitudinal band in all oceans. There are latitudinal gradients in species diversity. Biodiversity generally tends to cluster in hotspots, and has been increasing through time, but will be likely to slow in the future.
Rapid environmental changes typically cause mass extinctions.10 More than 99.9 percent of all species that ever lived on Earth, amounting to over five billion species, are estimated to be extinct. Estimates on the number of Earth’s current species range from 10 million to 14 million, of which about 1.2 million have been documented and over 86 percent have not yet been described. More recently, in May 2016, scientists reported that 1 trillion species are estimated to be on Earth currently with only one-thousandth of one percent described.11
8. (2004) Environmental Law and Practice in Nigeria. Lagos. University of Lagos Press pp. 249-251)
9. Young, Anthony. “Global Environmental Outlook 3 (GEO-3): Past, Present and Future Perspectives.” The Geographical Journal, vol. 169, 2003, p. 120.)
10. Charles Cockell; Christian Koeberl & Iain Gilmour (18 May 2006). Biological Processes Associated with Impact Events (1 ed.). Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 197–219. ISBN 978-3-540-25736-3)
11. Staff (2 May 2016). “Researchers find that Earth may be home to 1 trillion species”. National Science Foundation. Retrieved 6 May 2016.)
THE THREE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS: Biodiversity is unevenly distributed. It varies globally and within regions. The various factors that influence biodiversity include temperature, altitude, precipitation, soils and their relation with other species. For instance, ocean biodiversity is 25 times lesser than terrestrial diversity. Biodiversity also increases its form as it moves from the poles towards the tropics.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), variation in biodiversity is typically measured at three levels namely the genetic, the species, and the ecosystem level. Biodiversity is not evenly distributed on the planet and is richest in the tropics. The tropical forest ecosystems contain about 90 percent of the world’s species but cover less than 10 percent of Earth’s surface.
In his book, Wilson, E. O.12 stated that in other to understand the level of Diversity, three important essential element must be considered namely: genetic diversity, taxonomic diversity and ecosystem diversity.
12. Biological Diversity, (1998) in (ed): Elderedge, N. Life in the balance: Humanity and Biodiversity Crisis. Princeton, NJ, USA, Princeton University Press.
The Genetic Diversity: This type of species refers to the variation of genes within species. It includes the many kinds of genes that are available for given number of species, such as a family, a population or the entire species. This variety of genes allows the species to have many kinds of habitable traits that allow it to survive through changing environments.
The Taxonomic Diversity: This type of species refers to the variety of species within a region. It refers to the variety of individuals of a given hierarchical level in the scientific naming system. It is also defined as the number of species and abundance of each species that live in a particular location. This number is called species richness.
The Ecosystem Diversity: This type of species refers to the arrays of living organisms found in a particular environment together with the physical and environmental factors that affect them. It is the variety of habitat types that are available in a given area. These habitats can have different physical characteristics such as temperature and soil types, as well as different organisms inhabiting them. When the habitat with all its organisms and their complex interactions are considered together, it is termed ecosystem. 13
MAN AND BIODIVERSITY
Due to the growth in the human population, in production and consumption, over the last two centuries the natural ecosystems of our planet have been subjected to an impressive depletion of their biodiversity, with an overall decrease, measured by the Living Planet Index, equal to 30% from 1970 to 2005. Human activities have increased the rate of natural extinction and it is estimated that the current climate change will worsen the situation further. Biodiversity is important as a value itself, also because it contributes to human wellbeing: the vegetable components and the fauna in the forests are an important source of food for many local populations, they are a source of active ingredients about 25% of the drugs, they contribute to increasing the revenue and freedom of choice of the local populations, they are remarkably important in social relations and conservation of the cultural heritage.
13. Adebayo W. A (2017) Contemporary Issues in International Environmental Law, Ekiti State University Printing Press pp. 93
Ecologists believe that every animal has its own “profession”, which consists in finding the perfect correspondence among the species and its own ecological segment (i.e. the position of each species in an ecosystem). It would be absurd to think of finding an organism that has not “adapted” to its own ecological segment, in fact the penalty for this would be its rapid extinction.
By adaptation, we mean any structure, any physiological or behavioral process, that makes an individual, an animal or a vegetable more adapted to survive and reproduce itself than other individuals of the same species. By adaptation we also mean the evolutive process with which a new character is consolidated through natural selection. Adaptation can increase the efficiency in finding or using some fundamental resources such as light, air, food, etc.; or it can allow the organism to support determined conditions such as high or low temperatures, the absence of light or to help its defensive capacity.
IMPORTANCE OF BIODIVERSITY
Our biodiversity is very important to the well-being of our planet. Most cultures, at least at some time, have recognized the importance of conserving natural resources. Many still do, but many do not. Biodiversity has a number of basic categorization functions on the Earth. These are as follows:
- Maintaining balance of the ecosystem:Recycling and storage of nutrients, combating pollution, and stabilizing climate, protecting water resources, forming and protecting soil and maintaining ecobalance.
- Provision of biological resources:Provision of medicines and pharmaceuticals, food for the human population and animals, ornamental plants, wood products, breeding stock and diversity of species, ecosystems and genes.
- Social benefits:Recreation and tourism, cultural value and education and research.
Other roles of biodiversity in the following areas will help make clear the importance of biodiversity in human life:
- Biodiversity and food:80% of human food supply comes from 20 kinds of plants. But humans use 40,000 species for food, clothing and shelter. Biodiversity provides for variety of foods for the planet.
- Biodiversity and human health: The shortage of drinking water is expected to create a major global crisis. Biodiversity also plays an important role in drug discovery and medicinal resources. Medicines from nature account for usage by 80% of the world’s population.
- Biodiversity and industry:Biological sources provide many industrial materials. These include fiber, oil, dyes, rubber, water, timber, paper and food.
- Biodiversity and culture:Biodiversity enhances recreational activities like bird watching, fishing, trekking etc. It inspires musicians and artists
Healthy ecosystems and rich biodiversity:
- Increase ecosystem productivity; each species in an ecosystem has a specific niche—a role to play.
- Support a larger number of plant species and, therefore, a greater variety of crops.
- Protect freshwater resources.
- Promote soils formation and protection.
- Provide for nutrient storage and recycling.
- Aid in breaking down pollutants.
- Contribute to climate stability.
- Speed recovery from natural disasters.
- Provide more food resources.
- Provide more medicinal resources and pharmaceutical drugs.
- Offer environments for recreation and tourism.
How do we replace lost biodiversity? Our environments and the species that live in them need a diverse population of genes. More genetic defects are caused by inbreeding. With reduced diversity in the gene pool, the chance for extinction increases. All species, including humans, are adversely affected by the loss of species diversity.
14. Rinkesh is a true environmentalist, (1990). Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment.
REASON FOR LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY
The earth’s biodiversity is in grave danger. In the present era, human beings are the most dangerous cause of destruction of the earth’s biodiversity. In 2006, the terms threatened, endangered or rare were used to describe the status of many species. The “evil quartet” identified by Jared Diamond is overkill, habitat destruction, secondary extinctions and introduced species. Factors identified by Edward Wilson15 are described by the acronym- HIPPO standing for habitat destruction, climate change, invasive species, pollution, human overpopulation and over-harvesting.
Habitat destruction is a major cause for biodiversity loss. Habitat loss is caused by deforestation, overpopulation, pollution and global warming. Species which are physically large and those living in forests or oceans are more affected by habitat reduction.
Some expert’s estimate that around 30% of all species on earth will be extinct by 2050. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), globally about one third of all known species are threatened with extinction. Even it is estimated that 25% of all mammals will be extinct within 20 years. Even if a small element of an ecosystem breaks down, the whole system’s balance is threatened. Fresh water ecosystems are nowadays the most threatened ecosystems. Invasive species refer to those that would normally remain constrained from an ecosystem because of the presence of
15. “Eniscuola Energy and Environment” is a project run by eni to promote awareness of energy and environmental issues amongst students. In the Italian version, the website also offers digital lessons on Art, Science and English language. (2018)
natural barriers. Since these barriers are no longer existing, invasive species invade the ecosystem, destroying native species. Human activities have been the major cause for encouraging invasive species.
Species can also be threatened by genetic pollution- uncontrolled hybridization and gene swamping. For instance, abundant species can interbreed with rare species thus causing swamping of the gene pool. Over exploitation is caused by activities such as over fishing, over hunting, excessive logging and illegal trade of wildlife. Over 25% of global fisheries are being overfished at unsustainable levels.16
Global warming is also becoming a major cause for loss of biodiversity. For example if the present rate of global warming continues, coral reefs which are biodiversity hotspots will disappear in 20-40 years.17 10% of all species might become extinct by 2015, if global warming continues.
Thus we can see that biodiversity which is crucial for the well being of life on earth, is coming under the threat of many factors related to human activities. There is an urgent need to take action to protect the magnificent biodiversity of our planet. We must create economic policies in order to maintain the Earth’s biodiversity and take appropriate measures to protect habitats and species
16. Scales, Helen (29 March 2007). “Shark Declines Threaten Shellfish Stocks, Study Says”. National Geographic News. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
17. Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch (July 08, 2018)
CAUSES OF THE LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY 18
The main cause of the loss of biodiversity can be attributed to the influence of human beings on the world’s ecosystem,19 In fact human beings have deeply altered the environment, and have modified the territory, exploiting the species directly, for example by fishing and hunting, changing the biogeochemical cycles and transferring species from one area to another of the Planet. The cause of the threats to biodiversity can be summarized in the following main points:
Cause #1 Destruction of Habitat:
The natural habitat may be destroyed by man for his settlement, agriculture, mining, industries, highway construction, dam building etc. The transformation of the natural areas determines not only the loss of the vegetable species, but also a decrease in the animal species associated to them. As a consequence, the species must either adapt to the changes in the environment, move elsewhere or may succumb to predation, starvation or disease and eventually die. Several rare butterfly species are facing extinction due to habitat destruction in the Western Ghats. Of the 370 butterfly species available in the Ghats, around 70 are at the brink of extinction.
Cause #2 Hunting:
Wild animals are hunted for the commercial utilization of their products such as hides and skin, tusk, fur, meat, pharmaceuticals,
cosmetics, perfumes and decoration purposes. In Africa, in recent years 95% of the black rhino population have been exterminated in Africa by poachers for their horn. Today, rhino horn fetches more than $15,000 in the pharmaceutical market. In the last one decade, over one-third of Africa’s elephants have been killed to collect 3,000 tonnes of ivory. International regulations have, to a great extent, reduced illegal trading and poaching of African Tuskers. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) listed some animal species which have been severely depleted due to international trade. Hunting for sport is also a factor for loss of animal biodiversity.
19. Adebayo W. A (2017) Contemporary Issues in International Environmental Law, Ekiti State University Printing Press pp. 96-99
Cause #3 Exploitation of Selected Species:
Exploitation of selected species and Overexploitation of the resources: when the activities connected with capturing and harvesting (hunting, fishing, farming) a renewable natural resource in a particular area is excessively intense, the resource itself may become exhausted, as for example, is the case of sardines, herrings, cod, tuna and many other species that man captures without leaving enough time for the organisms to reproduce.
Exploitation of medicinally important plants has resulted in their disappearance from many of their natural habitat. The pitcher plants, Nepenthes khasiana, Drosera sp., Gnetum sp., Psilotum sp. Isoetes sp. are ruthlessly sought and collected for teaching and laboratory work.
Practically all varieties of Sorghum grown in South Africa have disappeared following introduction of high yielding hybrid varieties from Texas. In India, an estimated 50-60 thousand varieties of rice were cultivated before independence, most of which are being dropped in favour of a few high yielding varieties.
Cause #4 Habitat Fragmentation:
Habitat fragmentation may be defined as an “unnatural detaching or separation of expansive tracts of habitats into spatially segregated fragments” that are too limited to maintain their different species for an infinite future.
Habitat fragmentation is one of the most serious causes of erosion of biodiversity. Fragmentation leads to artificially created ‘terrestrial islands’. Such fragments experience microclimatic effects markedly different from those that existed in the large tracks of habitats before fragmentation. Air temperature at the edges of fragments can be significantly higher than that found in the interior; light can penetrate deep into the edge, thereby affecting the growth of existing species. Fragmentation promotes the migration and colonization of alien species. Such substantial and continuous colonization, profoundly affect the survival of native species.
The most serious effect of fragmentation is segregation of larger populations of a species into more than one smaller population. There is considerable evidence that the number of species in a fragmented habitat will decrease over time, although the probable rates at which it will happen are variable. In fact, actual data on rain forests show that forest fragments have lower species richness and fewer populations compared with continuous undisturbed forests. An example of loss of biodiversity as the result of the fragmentation is that of the Western forest of Ecuador, which were largely undisturbed till 1960, where newly constructed network of roads led to rapid human settlements and clearance of much of the forest area, have been fragmented into small patches of one to few square kilometers.
Cause #5 Collection for Zoo and Research:
Animals and plants are collected throughout the world for zoos and biological laboratories for study and research in science and medicine. For example, primates such as monkeys and chimpanzees are sacrificed for research as they have anatomical, genetic and physiological similarities to human beings.
Cause #6 Introduction of Exotic Species:
Species originating from a particular area, introduced into new natural environments can lead to different forms of imbalance in the ecological equilibrium. Refer to, “Introduction of exotic species and genetically modified organisms”. Any species which is not a natural inhabitant of the locality but is deliberately or accidentally introduced into the system may be designated as an exotic species. Native species are subjected to competition for food and space due to the introduction of exotic species.
There are many instances when introduction of exotic species has caused extensive damage to natural biotic community of the ecosystem. The introduction of Nile perch from north in Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, has driven almost half of the 400 original fish species of the lake to near extinction.
Cause #7 Pollution:
Human activity influences the natural environment producing negative, direct or indirect, effects that alter the flow of energy, the chemical and physical constitution of the environment and abundance of the species;
Pollution alters the natural habitat. Water pollution especially injurious to the biotic components of estuary and coastal ecosystems. Toxic wastes entering the water bodies disturb the food chain and so the aquatic ecosystems. Insecticides, pesticides, sulphur and nitrogen oxides, acid rain, ozone depletion and global warming too, affect adversely the plant and animal species. The impact of coastal pollution is also very important. It is seen that coral reefs are being threatened by pollution from industrialization, oil transport and offshore mining along the coastal areas.
Noise pollution is also the cause of wildlife extinction. This has been evidenced by the study by the Canadian Wildlife Protection Fund. According to a study, Arctic Whales are seen on the verge of extinction as a result of increasing noise of ships, particularly ice-breakers and tankers.
Cause #8 Control of Pests and Predators:
Predator and pest control measures, generally kill predators that are a component of balanced ecosystem and may also indiscriminately kill non-target species.
Cause #9 Natural Calamities:
Natural calamities, such as floods, draught, forest fires, earth-quakes, volcanic eruptions, epidemics etc. sometimes take a heavy toll of plant and animal life. Floods are frequent in moist tropical regions of the world which inundate much of the ground vegetation, trap a large number of animals while leading away soil nutrients. Failure of monsoon in succession for two or three years dries up ground vegetation and as the subsurface water table recedes trees are also affected. With plant life animals also suffer.
Forest fires in densely wooded localities often reduce to ashes a large number of plant and animal species and so do earthquakes. Volcanic eruptions may at times completely destroy plant and animal life in its surrounding areas. Epidemics sometimes destroy large portions of a natural population. In nature such episodes are usually confined to specific plant or animal populations as the pathogen is often specific to particular species or group of species.
Cause #10 Climate change: for example, heating of the Earth’s surface affects biodiversity because it endangers all the species that adapted to the cold due to the latitude (the Polar species) or the altitude (mountain species).
EFFECTS OF LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY
The negative effects of the loss in biodiversity20 from a healthy stable state include dramatic influence on the food web and chain. Even reductions in only one species can adversely affect the entire food chain which further leads to an overall reduction in biodiversity. Reduced biodiversity leads to immediate danger for food security by reducing ecosystem services and for humankind also. The effects of extinction of animal and plant species are widespread. Here are six significant problems and effect of loss of biodiversity:
- Monetary Implication of Lost Biodiversity
The economic cost of biodiversity around the world tops the list. We will have to pay for costs of pollination, irrigation, soil reclamation and other functions if nature is unable to take care of them. The estimated value of global biodiversity is in the trillions. Deforestation costs around $2-5 trillion annually worldwide.
- Threat to existing species
The introduction of new species is happening on farms, too, where natives are pushed out because of imported foreign breeds of cattle. The effect of this is the narrowing of the world’s livestock population. They are also becoming more susceptible to disease, drought, and changes in climate.
- Increased Contact with Diseases
The loss of biodiversity has two major effects on human health and the spread of disease. Firstly, it increases the count of animals carrying disease in local populations. As habitats reduce in size, these animals become common, winning out the species that do not generally transmit disease.
- More Unpredictable Weather
Indeed, unseasonable weather and extreme weather is a huge problem which leads to destruction and displacement. Research has shown that loss of species causes more unpredictable weather.
- Loss of Livelihoods
Biodiversity is essential for maintaining livelihoods. Taking an example, when ocean ecosystems collapse, entire communities built on the plenty they provide lose their means of employment as well. The cause can be pollution, overfishing, or a combination of these. Humans are always affected by the downfall of the ecosystem surrounding them.
- Losing Sight of Nature
The worth of nature to humanity is far beyond the utility of it. The physical deflation of nature certainly does affect humans. People always tend to find solace in nature. It also provides a recreation spots for us to take a break from our busy lives. But loss of biodiversity threatens to take away the value that man finds in nature.
20. (2017) WWF – World Wide Fund For Nature & (1986) Panda Symbol WWF – World Wide Fund For Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund). https://wwf.panda.org/
SOLUTIONS TO STOP LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY
(How to Prevent Loss of Biodiversity/How to Conserve Biodiversity)
The reduction in land and soil degradation and formation of regulated protected areas and national parks, in addition, are among important solutions to the loss of biodiversity.21 However, these have limitations in tackling the biodiversity crisis to the full extent. What is required is to place greater emphasis on sustainable practices in agriculture, which is the most significant cause of biodiversity loss. Thousands of traditional crops have become threatened species as they have been discarded for food production, a concept called mono production. An alternative approach that can be introduced here is “agro-ecology” or “eco-farming”. It seeks higher yields achieved through intense cultivation on small farms. It is a low input model that requires skills in processes like soil regeneration, nitrogen fixation and natural pest control. Reconciliation of these changes in agriculture is critical for both food security and biodiversity. Along with the proposed changes in agriculture, there are other solutions to the biodiversity loss too. Some of them are simple changes we need to bring in our daily lives.
- Since over-consumption of resources is the root cause of biodiversity loss, we can consume less and be more mindful about what we consume.
- Energy must be saved too by using energy efficient appliances in our homes.
- Maintaining wetlands by conserving water.
- Managing livestock grazing.
- Consider donating property to land trusts.
- Encourage and support global environmental initiatives.
21. Vishal Duggal ‘Sahara Time’, a 48-page publication of Earth Solution (2017) also published in English weekly newspaper, and later online wing www.samaylive.com
LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY
There is uncertainty about what types of legal framework are most effective in different ecological, economic and cultural settings. HimaLines21 research on the test the effectiveness of different legal frameworks for maintaining ecosystem services in high-altitude Himalayan forests in Nepal.
The project basically based on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, including law, conservation ecology and development studies. The scientific aim is to investigate links between legal frameworks/practice, biodiversity, ecosystem services, forest dynamics and population dynamics of medicinal and edible plants.
22. Ellison, K. (2010). Molnar, J. L., ed. The Atlas of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference. University of California Press. ISBN978-0-520-26256-0.
The 1992 United Nation Convention on Biological Diversity23: the Convention was adopted on 22nd May, 1992. The objectives of the Convention are the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable uses of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies and by appropriate finding.
1973 Convention to Regulate International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna: the aim of the Convention is to ensure that international trade in species of wild plants and animal does not threaten the survival. The Convention for the purpose of regulation classifies endangered species into three categories. Appendix include all species threatened with extinction which are or may be affected by trade. Trade in specimens of these species are to be subjected to particularly strict regulation in order not to endangered further their survival and must only be authorized in exceptional circumstances.
The 1971 convention on Wetlands of International importance Especially As Waterfowl Habitat: the Convention is designed for the protection of Waterfowl habitat. The waterfowl are birds vertebrate animal living, breeding and feeding in water and those closely associated with water bodies due to their feeding, roosting behavior and other activities associated with the aquatic environment.
23. Article 1
1982 World Charter for Nature: The World Charter for Nature has its origin in the UN General Assembly Resolution 35/7 of 30 October, 1980. The Charter proclaims five principles of conservative by which all human conducts affecting nature is to be guided.
The 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change: The Convention is the first international framework to address climate change. The relevance of the Convention to biological diversity is to achieve the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.
LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY IN NIGERIA
The various legislative framework are made to protect the biodiversity and prescription of punishment for environmental law violation, conservation of natural resources, as well as protection and preservation of nature etc. among the notable legislatures are:
- National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (Establishment) Act 2007.
- The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
- The Nigeria National Policy on the Environment.
- The Endangered Species (Control of International Trade and Traffic) Act Cap E9 LFN 2004.
- The National Park Services Act Cap 65 LFN, 2004.
- Inland Fisheries Act Cap I 10 LFN, 2004.
- Sea Fisheries Act Cap S. 4 LFN, 2004
Biodiversity or the variety of plants and animals in the environment plays an important role in maintaining balance in the ecosystem. The loss of biodiversity gives rise to a lot of problems like decreased food security, disruptions in the food chain, climate change, loss of livelihoods etc. This has a huge impact on humans as there will longer be food to eat, prices of commodities will rise and the beautiful sight of nature will be lost. Moreover, ecosystem balance gets disturbed. The problem is indeed a very grave one, and it’s time humans realize what impact their actions have on the environment. Proposed solutions like alternate approaches in agriculture, consuming less and generating lesser waste should be adopted. Only then the biodiversity loss rates can be reduced and humans can live in harmony with Mother Earth.