Biodiversity refers to the variety of life forms on Earth, which is measured at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels. Species diversity includes different types of animals, plants and microbes. To a much broader extent, biodiversity also includes different types of ecosystems, such as mudflats, streams, mangroves, forests and coral reefs, together with the species living there and the interactions among them. It is important to human beings as we depend on the availability of biological resources for provision of food, medicine, timber, cotton and other raw materials to sustain our basic living requirements. Apart from providing these essential resources that we rely on every day, the ecosystem also accounts for the provision of regulating services for the planet such as climate regulation, disease control, protection against floods and cultural services that complement human values. These ecosystem services are vital to human well-being and hence should be sustainably consumed and managed.
Biodiversity is often taken for granted, however, unsustainable consumption by human beings are placing increasing pressure to the existence of species and ecosystems. This includes overfishing and over-exploitation of biological resources, overuse of forest and land, destruction and fragmentation of habitats and contamination that cause irreversible damage to species. Therefore, the loss of biodiversity is dangerous and the next generation will be suffering from its immediate consequences, for instance, food security and water shortage problems may arise.
Consumers are responsible for stopping the loss and should be careful during consumption, especially when choosing agricultural, forestry and fisheries-related products. Biodiversity-friendly productscan prevent the loss of habitats during raw materials extraction and encourage the protection of ecosystems and species diversity. The most commonly found product labels addressing biodiversity concerns are those certified for sustainable forestry, sustainable fishing and farming practices.
Sustainable Features of Biodiversity-friendly Products