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Human Influence and Threat to Biodiversity and Sustainable              Debela Hunde

Humans are part of biodiversity. There was harmonious co-habitation of humans and biodiversity on the primitive earth i.e. dynamic equilibrium existed between biodiversity and humans. Later on because of five major changes human beings put heavy pressure on biodiversity: (1) Fast in growth of human population, (2) Increasing human needs, (3) Fast in domestication of animals (4) Increasing human needs, (5) increase in human competence with technological advancement to exploit the biodiversity (GBS,1992). According to Mooney (1985) human dependence on biodiversity is much for more food, shelter, medicine, fuel, recreation, etc. He furthermore described that traditional society are in harmony with biodiversity, poor struggle to live, minimum resources utilized while developed nations have an affluent exploitation of resources, high level of consumption by minority. This further evidenced that technological development has greatly impacted and threatened biodiversity of the world at all levels.

Applying traditional means of preserving biodiversity of the threatened biota is important. Traditional protection of threatening biodiversity, by restricting collection of germplasim, hunting, and deforestation contribute a lot in conservation (IBCRa, 2001; Regassa Feyssa, 1999). Preserving biological diversity in churchyards, mosques, and vicinities of Irrecha forest or Aba qalluu’ which are ritual and spiritual areas are secure areas for medicinal plants and other components of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in Ethiopia ( Debela Hunde, 2001).

Effective conservation of biodiversity can only be achieved trough the sustained efforts of all, most importantly rural communities who largely rely on local

biodiversity for their livelihoods .This is attributed to the message “saving life by saving biodiversity” which is more directly related to the bread of everyone. According to IBCRa (2001) people who are well versed about the biodiversity and their uses need support from governmental, non-governmental organizations and scientists to enhance and develop their traditional sustainable use practices (Prance, 1991).

 2.2. The Need for Environmental Friendly Living.

The main forces deriving the global transformation of the biosphere are human population growth, together with increasing natural resource consumption and socio cultural change. These are continuing to increase at alarming rate. This raises the question of carrying capacity, of the planet and whether humans can continue to increase his demands without limits (GBS, 1992). The answer for this question is it is impossible to increase humans demand on natural resources with out limit and without conservation of these resources. This calls for environmental friendly living. Environmental friendly living can be achieved if only conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity effectively practiced. Conservation in narrower sense is the preservation or maintenance of some or all of the components of biological diversity. In broader sense include sustainable use of the components, or their recovery or restoration or both (GBS, 1992). Hence, environmental friendly living is meant the sustainable use of natural resources, so is biodiversity as one of the major part of environmental components. In this regard, environmental friendly living /sustainable use of biodiversity encompasses, the use of components of biodiversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long term decline of biodiversity, thereby

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