Biodiversity is the variety of all forms of life throughout an ecosystem.
High rates of extinction are quickly reducing biodiversity especially in areas of the world with high human population density and growth.
The direct and indirect effects that humans have had on biodiversity is challenging as can be seen from the following flow chart.
Human Population Size Resources use Land Transformation Land Clearing Forestry Grazing Intensification Biotic Additions and Loss Invasion Hunting Fishing Carbon Nitrogen Water Climate Change Enhanced Greenhouse Aerosols Land cover Loss of Biological Diversity Extinction of species and populations Loss of ecosystems Vitousek et. al (1997) Science, 277, p.494-499 Human Enterprises Agriculture Industry Recreation International Commerce Global Biogeochemistry
Humans Change of the Earth Expressed as % Change Vitousek et. al (1997) Science, 277, p.494-499
Places on earth with some of the greatest biodiversity such as: South America, Equatorial Africa, India, Indonesia and coastal regions also show the greatest density and fastest rate of growth of people.
In Ghana and parts of the Ivory Coast, the Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus monkey is now extinct.
“ Chimpanzees lived in what was Africa’s great equatorial forest belt, but it’s not belt anymore just pockets of shrinking forest areas…If things carry on at the present rate in 15 years there will be very, very few chimpanzees left.” Jane Goodall
Identifying a protected area's goods and services, determining who values those goods and services, and measuring these values is not always a straightforward process. The goods and services include recreation and tourism, plant and wildlife habitat, genetic resources, water supply, protection against natural disasters, and so on. Many of these goods and services are not traded on commercial markets and therefore have no evident market value. The values of non-market goods and services need to be measured and expressed in monetary terms, where possible, so that they can be weighed on the same scale as commercially traded components.
The concept of total economic value (TEV) is now a well-established and useful framework for identifying the various values associated with protected areas. The total economic value of a protected area consists of its use values and non-use values.