The conscious concept of biodiversity started when people start to think about and ask themselves are we facing global biodiversity crisis or indeed are we in the midst of one, as several others have suggested (GBS, 1992). These and similar questions have been asked during the past three and half decades arising out of a growing concern due to the rapidly accelerating loss of species, populations, domesticated varieties and natural habitats such as tropical rain forests and wetlands. Truly speaking questions of diversity of life have occupied peoples mind for as long as we have inhabited this planet (GBS, 1992).
It appears that the term biological diversity was first defined including two related concepts genetic diversity (the amount of genetic variability within species) and ecological diversity-the number of species in a community of organisms (Norse and Memanus, 1980 cited in GBS, 1992). Ecological diversity refers to the numbers of species in given areas, the ecological roles that these species play, the way that the composition of species changes as one move across a region, and the groupings of species/ecosystems that occur in particular areas such as grassland or forest together with the processes and interactions that take place within and between these systems across land scape and biomes (GBS, 1992). Recent estimates suggest that more than half the habitable surface of the planet has already been significantly altered by human activity. These concerns have been coupled with a realization that our knowledge of the diversity and variability of plants, animals, microorganisms and the ecosystem in which they occurs is incomplete. It is this situation that led to the introduction
of the nation of biological diversity that emerged some 15 years ago (Lovejoy, 1980; Norse et al 1989).
The definitions need to recognize specifically the three principal components, ecosystems, species and genes in common use. These three major components of biodiversity are recognized in the definition in Article 2 of convention on Biological Diversity adopted in 1992, as follow “Biological diversity means the variability among living organisms from all sources including inter-alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystem, and the ecological complexes of which they are part, this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystem” (GBS, 1992). Strictly speaking the word biodiversity refers to the quality, range or extent of differences between the biological entities in a given set. In total it is diversity of all life and is characteristics or properties of nature, not an entity or a resource (Jensen et al, 1990). The multi faceted nature of biodiversity is reflected in many definitions that have been put forward. Increasing environmental awareness over the past few decades has highlighted the need to enhance our understanding of the ways in which human society and biodiversity interact. This has widened the scope of biodiversity so as to include the human dimension. The purpose of this writing is therefore, to contribute to the effort underway in promoting awareness on environmental friendly living in biodiversity conservation.
2. Human Influence and Threats to Biodiversity
Biodiversity is considered as a synthesis of the various biological disciplines that contribute to it. It covers the values,