National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity

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What does biodiversity mean?
Biodiversity crisis
Massive extinctions
  Ice age
Mexico mega-diverse
Why conserve?
What can I do?
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Home - Biodiversity - Knowledge and use - Why conserve?

There are many reasons why we should preserve our natural wealth.

Economic. When the quality of natural capital deteriorates, we lose valuable assets and options. Natural capital is the stock of natural ecosystems that provides a flow of valuable goods and services from the environment for the present and future generations. For a long time, we have enjoyed natures’ products, also known as “environmental services”, for free, such as oxygen, clean water, fertile soil, and the pollination of flowers that results in the production of fruits, among many others. However, only now when they are scarce, are they given a proper value. As economists say, we have externalized the costs.

Ethical. This reason is as important as any of the others. All species have a right to be on the planet. The majority of them were here before humans. In fact, we are the only species with the capacity to be conscious of the state of our planet, the ecosystems and species. As a result, we have the responsibility for their survival.

Ecological. Conservation maintains the ecological functions of ecosystems. The so-called “ecological imbalance” comes from perturbations by humans to the natural processes and balance among the species in an ecosystem.

Aesthetic. A large variety of species enrich our life with their forms, textures, colors, odors, and behaviors. Forests, rainforests, estuaries and rivers, when well preserved, provide fulfillment to our craving for beauty.

Spiritual. For many civilizations and people, plants and animals and natural phenomena have religious meaning. The sun generates life on the planet and conveys its energy to living organisms. In Mexican cultures, natural phenomena and living beings form an integral part of cosmogony.  

In 1995, the Alliance of Religions and Conservation was created. It is a secular group that supports world religions in their efforts to develop environmental programs.

Scientific. Nature is a library whose volumes we have been reading and deciphering through the centuries. Scientific understanding has granted us countless benefits that range from medical products to a holistic vision of man’s place in nature.

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