Biodiversity cannot be sold, it must be protected!

Biodiversity cannot be sold, it must be protected!

Biodiversity means biological diversity: variety and variability of organisms at the level of species, individuals, genes, interactions and ecological processes between them and at the level of ecosystems.

It isn’t a simple concept and in fact biodiversity is often confused with diversity.

If there are many species of trees in a forest there is good forest diversity. But if in that forest there are different species of trees, other plants, birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, molluscs, fungus, musk etc., and these organisms interact between individuals of their own species and with the other species, the set of all these elements and interactions constitutes the biodiversity of that place. Even a desert or an Antarctic land has its biodiversity, even if there are no trees, reptiles or insects.

Biodiversity has a “where” and a “when”, it has no equivalents or substitutes. It is not possible to give up biodiversity “here” to protect or promote it elsewhere. The “here” has its own biodiversity like elsewhere, and they are both fundamental, unique and irreplaceable.

Biodiversity isn’t a financial asset, it isn’t based on a transferable currency. Biodiversty cannot be traded, bought, sold or given away. Biodiversity cannot be sold, it must be protected!

On the contrary, it is possible to support organizations or projects that are committed to protecting biodiversity. It is possible to invest economic resources to protect some places and their biodiversity, but transforming biodiversity into a sort of indefinite and transferable green coin is ethically and profoundly wrong. Profiting from the protection of biodiversity, from the good faith of citizens and companies, is just as shameful as the actual destruction of biodiversity.

The concept of biodiversity was included in the Constitution of the Italian Republic on 8 February 2022, modifying articles 9 (one of the fundamental principles) and 41 which today read:

Article 9: “The Republic promotes the development of culture and scientific and technical research. It protects the landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the nation. It protects the environment, biodiversity and ecosystems, also in the interests of future generations. State law regulates the ways and forms of animal protection.”

Article 41: “Private economic initiative is free. It cannot take place in conflict with social utility or in a way that causes damage to safety, freedom, human dignity, health or the environment. The law determines the appropriate programs and controls so that public and private economic activity can be directed and coordinated for social and environmental objectives”.

Protecting biodiversity is therefore a constitutional requirement, which every citizen and every institution must have as a fundamental principle of their daily actions.

 


 

The word “Biodiversity” was used for the first time as a contraction of “biological diversity” by the American biologist Walter G. Rosen during the “National Forum on BioDiversity”, a conference organized in 1986 in Washington.
In 1988 E.O. Wilson, father of modern conservation biology, defined biodiversity as “the variety of organisms considered at all levels, from genetic variants belonging to the same species through arrays of species to arrays of genera, families, and still higher taxonomic levels; includes the variety of ecosystems, which comprise both the communities of organisms within particular habitats and the physical conditions under which they live.” 

Find out more here.

 


 

On 4 October 2004, at the Civic Museum of Natural History in Verona, a small group of naturalists from all over the world founded the World Biodiversity Association onlus (WBA). In these 20 years WBA has been committed to surveying and protecting biodiversity through scientific research, concrete protection actions and widespread educational action, particularly aimed at young people.

We want to take advantage of this important goal to relaunch our commitment to protecting biodiversity with even more energy and to spread the message that Biodiversity cannot be sold, it must be protected!

 

Being a member of WBA means actively contributing to carrying forward the association’s ideals to defend the value of biodiversity.

Find out how to become a member here.