Managing ecosystems is of extreme importance for the sake of humanity’s survival. It is estimated that the world’s population will increase by 12 billion by the end of the century, and the skyrocketing per capita consumption of resources has led to the argument that we have indeed entered the era of the Anthropocene. Over the past few years, species have become extinct, and human activities still continue to drive biodiversity losses as well as alter the formation of ecosystems all over the world.
It is because of the rapid changes in biodiversity that a call for managing it better was made. Managing ecosystems means providing solutions that can bring about tremendous economic rewards.
One of the most recent solutions that scientists have come up with to provide food for both humans and animals was to grow several types of rice in the Yunnan Province of China. The solution was a success, which not only increased the yield of harvested rice per year but also the crops’ resistance to fungal pathogens. The solution, which should provide long-term yields, is thanks to an array of ecosystem services, which are believed to be valued around $50 trillion per year.
The costs for ecosystem services may be huge but it is of extreme importance. According to experts, the funding for such services is partly down to the millennials’ outlook toward ethical investing. According to a financial website, many millennials have been credited with having an entrepreneurial spirit, and this feature can be a blessing in the sense that it helps spur competition and innovation. The ethical investment market, while consisting of only a small number of participants in the global market, is rapidly rising with strong interest from not only investors but consumers working in ethical companies as well. People are becoming more aware of business practices and their impacts on society, which has led to a demand for more responsible processes.
Experts foresee that the future of ecology has great risks involved but it is still not too late to change the dynamics. Thanks to the actions of investors, consumers, and ecosystem services, bad practices and negative changes to biodiversity are getting reversed. Re-wildling, for example, was such a major challenge for conversation since it involves the introduction of locally extinct species although with careful assessment and consideration it can be done. However, where a species has become globally extinct, one of the best answers scientists have come up with in terms of the preservation of biodiversity was introducing equivalent species.
Our ability to fight the negative impact of human actions upon biodiversity isn’t as weak as the general public thinks. It will take better control on resource exploitation, strict conservation of ecosystems especially ones that are already endangered, and widening the resources that we invest in the management of nature.