chapter  15
22 Pages

Biodiversity Loss

Biodiversity, a term that refers to the number, variety and variability of living organisms, has become a much-debated environmental issue in recent times. Although we live on a naturally dynamic planet, where species are prone to extinction and ecosystems are always subject to change, biodiversity has become an issue of major concern because of the unprecedented rate at which human action is causing its loss. The very large and rapid increase in human population over recent centuries has been accompanied by an unprecedented scale of modification and conversion of ecosystems for agriculture and other human activities. At the same time, we have documented increasing numbers of cases where species have been driven to extinction by human activities.