Ostfeld and Keesing 13 (Richard S Ostfeld, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY, USA, Felicia Keesing, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, USA, Elsevier Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, “Biodiversity and Human Health” http://ac.els-cdn.com.turing.library.northwestern.edu/B9780123847195003324/3-s2.0-B9780123847195003324-main.pdf?_tid=e3f0ac3e-f33b-11e2-8ded-00000aab0f02&acdnat=1374545112_3c915724869f82f0aad33f3288a1e075)The organization of economic activity into more-or-less private markets is, by and large, a phenomenon that began several hundred years ago in the West and has expanded worldwide in more recent decades (while the world's major economies have increasingly been organized along market lines, virtually all remain “mixed” economies, in which economic activity is apportioned in varying degrees between private and public sectors). (For an interesting perspective on changes in social views concerning private self-interest over the centuries, see Heilbroner, 1999.) BC The scale of economic activity neither tracks exactly the degradation of the environment in general nor the decline in biodiversity. Technological improvements may result in the production of both more valuable and less environmentally damaging goods. The empirical fact is, however, that biodiversity has declined with the appearance and expansion of modern market economies. It is easy to link the causes of biodiversity loss with the hallmarks of economic growth. Overharvesting results when growing demands for fish, timber, and other biological resources interact with emerging technologies for their extraction and exploitation. Modern market economies are not conducive to the types of social norms and local institutions that have, in many cases, led to sustainable resource extraction from common-pool resources in small-scale preindustrial communities(e.g., Ostrom, 1990). International trade and travel are leading causes of the introduction of exotic diseases, pests, and predators that have eliminated native populations, particularly in isolated habitats. (It is worth noting, however, that prehistoric human migrations also had devastating effects on native biota. Paleontological evidence suggests that the extinction of American megafauna were at least suspiciously contemporary with the migration of humans across the Bering land bridge, even if experts disagree as to the culpability of humans. The extinction of Pacific island fauna, such as the giant Moa of New Zealand, has been more definitively linked to the arrival of Polynesian voyagers and, in some instances more importantly, the rats and pigs they brought with them.) In the early nineteenth century, William Blake wrote that the industrial revolution had brought “dark satanic mills,” to “England's green and pleasant land,” and by the end of the twentieth century the industrial air and water pollution that had transformed landscapes in the worlds' wealthier nations was also to be found, often in greater quantities and concentrations, in less-developed countries. Perhaps most importantly, the sheer scale of human activity has resulted in the destruction of natural habitats to provide more area for industry, residences, and agriculture
4. Biodiversity poses an imminent threat to human survival
Raj 12 (Dr. P.J. Sanjeeva Raj, consultant ecologist and the Professor and Head of the Zoology Department of the Madras Christian College (MCC), “Beware the loss of biodiversity”, September 23, 2012, http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/beware-the-loss-of-biodiversity/article3927062.ece) Professor Edward O. Wilson, Harvard visionary of biodiversity, observes that the current rate of biodiversity loss is perhaps the highest since the loss of dinosaurs about 65 million yearsago during the Mesozoic era, when humans had not appeared. He regrets that if such indiscriminate annihilation of all biodiversity from the face of the earth happens for anthropogenic reasons, as has been seen now, it is sure to force humanity into an emotional shock and trauma of loneliness and helplessness on this planet. He believes that the current wave of biodiversity loss is sure to lead us into an age that may be appropriately called the “Eremozoic Era, the Age of Loneliness.” Loss of biodiversity is a much greater threat to human survival than even climate change. Both could act, synergistically too, to escalate human extinction faster.
Biodiversity is so indispensable for human survival that the United Nations General Assembly has designated the decade 2011- 2020 as the ‘Biodiversity Decade’ with the chief objective of enabling humans to live peaceably or harmoniously with nature and its biodiversity. We should be happy that during October 1-19, 2012, XI Conference of Parties (CoP-11), a global mega event on biodiversity, is taking place in Hyderabad, when delegates from 193 party countries are expected to meet. They will review the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which was originally introduced at the Earth Summit or the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is the nodal agency for CoP-11. Today, India is one of the 17 mega-diverse (richest biodiversity) countries. Biodiversity provides all basic needs for our healthy survival — oxygen, food, medicines, fibre, fuel, energy, fertilizers, fodder and waste-disposal, etc. Fast vanishing honeybees, dragonflies, bats, frogs, house sparrows, filter (suspension)-feeder oysters and all keystone species are causing great economic loss as well as posing an imminent threat to human peace and survival. The three-fold biodiversity mission before us is to inventorise the existing biodiversity, conserve it, and, above all, equitably share the sustainable benefits out of it.