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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: July 2009

7 - Future Directions in Conservation of Biological Diversity: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Summary

INTRODUCTION

The biodiversity of the world is a precious gift from God to humans. All living and nonliving constituents of it have been created by Him for our benefits. They are a continuous source of knowledge and immensely valuable, especially in maintaining ecological balance, in fulfilling the food and medicinal needs of humankind, and in generating plentiful financial resources. Such benefits can be sustained for all generations to come only when they are used moderately and in a sustainable way. On the contrary, relentless egotistical and wasteful use of various components of biological diversity and unwarranted transboundary movements of plant and animal species have contributed to virtual ecological destruction, with many plant and animal species having already vanished. If the prevailing activities are not reversed, many more that are at the verge of extinction will go into oblivion in the near future. In addition to the economic and social loss to humanity, depletion of various plant and animal species has caused a long-lasting and in certain areas, irreversible loss to biodiversity and to scientific endeavors based on it. This depletion is also responsible for ecological imbalance.

These problems began to be addressed in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), popularly known as the Rio Conference. The 1992 UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was signed by a large number of states that had participated at the UNCED, including Malaysia.

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