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Human Influence and Threat to Biodiversity and Sustainable              Debela Hunde


Human Influence and Threat to Biodiversity and Sustainable Living

                Debela Hunde*


More than half the habitable surface of the planet has already been significantly altered by human activity. Scientists suggested that this planets species are on the verge of mass extinction while our knowledge of  diversity and variability of plants, animals, microorganisms and the ecosystem in which they occurs incomplete.  Hence, “Biological diversity is the variability among living organisms from all sources, including interalias, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part”. The values, deriving forces and human influences, as well as the measures for conservation and sustainable use of the biodiversity vary greatly with in and between different cultures. Recent estimates have shown that humans use or pre-empt 40% of the terrestrial component of net primary productivity (total photosynthetic production). No part of the world is considered truly undisturbed; indicating that the world’s habitats have been significantly modified by human action. Humans’ influences affect biodiversity by: (1) agriculture, fisheries and over harvesting of resources, (2) habitat destruction, conversion, fragmentation and degradation, (3) introduction of exotic or invasive organisms and diseases, (4) Pollution of soil water and atmosphere and, (5) global change. All these impacts call for the promotion of environmental friendly living with biodiversity. Environmental friendly living exists within the socio-economic value of biodiversity. Biodiversity conservation, cultural survival and the search for new products are intractably linked. Ethno ecology, the study of the management system of indigenous people, which is particularly important for its application to the action of sustainable, uses systems, must be prompted in communities. This  needs to adapted many indigenous techniques and values because they are  (1) provide a medium to link people to their ancestors (2) cultural ceremonies frequently make use of biodiversity. It is also good to note that community participation and benefit sharing are not the sole solution to conserve ever increasing biodiversity degradation. There is a need to have balance vision and supportive sectarian and cross- sartorial actions of the governments with local, national, regional and international consideration that can save the biodiversity. Any strategy to slow the loss of biodiversity and to enhance its contributions to development must integrate conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components and equitable sharing of benefits at all levels


*Jimma University, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Department of Natural Resources Management  Jimma, Ethiopia

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