Biodiversity

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Forest garden makes use of multiple levels of productivity, from roots to canopy.

A decline in the number of species on the planet is a major problem, not only due to the value of individual species but because of the ecosystemic effects of thousands of species' living in interdependence. Over the centuries, human communities have exploited nature violently but they also played a role in creating new landscapes that wouldn't exist without humans. Healthy communities create cultured areas for their homes and subsistence while protecting natural biodiversity.


Overview

The term "biodiversity" means simply "diversity of life".

When speaking about biodiversity, we're mostly "adopting an anthropocentric viewpoint – the value of biodiversity is studied in terms of its contributions to humanity, that is human well-being."[1]

As Dasguptha points out in the Economics and Biodiversity report[1]: "If we are able to show, as we intend to in the Review, that biodiversity is of the utmost value to humanity, and that because we are embedded in Nature, gradual biological extinction will hasten our own extinction, then for purely anthropocentric reasons we would wish to preserve and promote it."

Biodiversity loss reduces the efficiency with which ecological communities capture biologically essential resources (nutrients, water, sunlight, prey) and produce biomass.[1]

Biosphere is, in essence, a biological community of organisms and such a community thrives in diversity. Human communities are no different and sociodiversity can be taken as a measure of the health of a culture. Sustainable communities integrate of both social and biological diversities.


Background

Origins and history

Main concepts

Practical application in communities

Many alternative communities are fond to create so-called forest-gardens. That's a popular concept in permaculture, inviting the gardener to combine many species of plants and animals in mutually supportive design. Forrest gardens are the opposite of monoculture fields, and they function best in a high biodiversity. Polyculture farming systems, including extensive forest gardens, go way back in history with the Mayan culture in America and in some Asian traditional villages. Today such practices are widely researched and further developed in all climates on Earth.

Links to key examples

Biodiversity impacts of the Transition movement

Criticisms

Challenges

Research on Biodiversity and community-led initiatives

The Dasguptha report gives a good overview of biodiversity and economy.[2]

Bibliography

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dasguptha, Partha (2021-02-02). Final Report - The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review (PDF). p. 606. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  2. Dasguptha, Partha (2021-02-02). Final Report - The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review (PDF). p. 606. Retrieved 2021-02-03.