Biodiversity is all we have.
Living things provide humankind's food, fabric, fibre and pharmaceuticals; they fertilise and pollinate crops, generate oxygen and recycle water. The wealth of nations is built upon biodiversity: even the oil, coal, peat, chalk and flints dug from the ground were once living tissue. So the case for the conservation of life's variety ought to be obvious.
But biodiversity is a problem in four parts. We do not know, cannot identify, and cannot even begin to count most of the creatures upon whom we depend; nor do we know how these unidentified species interact with and depend upon each other; yet we are extinguishing this richness at a rate perhaps unparalleled in the 3.5bn year history of life on Earth; and we have as yet no masterplan with which to address any of these challenges.
For full article see the Guardian website here