Degrading biodiversity!

It needs no argument to substantiate that human well-being is dependent upon ecosystem services like water provision, air purification, fisheries, timber production and nutrient cycling. It is also a hard fact that a variety of pressures in shape of population growth, changing diets, urbanization, climate change are heavily causing biodiversity to decline. Humans are directly dependent on biological diversity that includes plant life, fresh water resources, marine life and species living in and around the natural habitats. Pakistan is blessed with diverse ecosystems having rich biodiversity, but diminishing natural habitats and fresh water resources are depriving it from the ecological blessings. Its a chain reaction as constant high population growth triggers economic activities, urbanization, industries, deforestation, land erosions, agriculture which ultimately puts acute pressure on biodiversity. Regrettably, Pakistan possesses only five per cent of its area under forests, courtesy deforestation. The forests along coastal areas of Balochistan and Sindh play a significant role in protecting ports from excessive siltation, providing breeding grounds for commercially important penaid shrimps and fish larvae, and sanctuaries for migratory birds. However, this national heritage is now disappearing. The equally contributing factor threatening the biodiversity are soil loss, water-logging, salinity, intensification of production, and the increased use of pesticides. Irrigation causes degradation of agro-ecosystems when it results in increasing salinity, sodicity, and water-logging which ultimately reduces the fertility level of soils. The past two decades have witnessed radical changes in social, economic and environmental areas. The Earths population has grown from approximately 5 billion to 7 billion people, which has placed additional strain on the environment as well as biodiversity. Subsequently, this has led to constant decline of natural resources like biodiversity, environment and water in addition to global warming. Climate change in Pakistan has a significant impact on the environment, the economy and society. Amid increasing natural resources scarcity, the relevant quarters need to focus on ensuring their sustainable use. The release of harmful and persistent pollutants from mining, manufacturing, sewage, energy, transport and agriculture remains a problem for ecosystems and human health that need a proper planning to ensure a strict check on economic expansions so that biodiversity survival is ensured.

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