Jeffrey R. Smith; Gretchen C. Daily

Published On


Page Range

pp. 51-58

Print Length

7 pages

Everyday Biodiversity

  • Jeffrey R. Smith (author)
  • Gretchen C. Daily (author)
The decline of biodiversity is affecting our everyday life, we currently get 75% of the vitamins and nutrients we consume from crops with animal pollinators, but many of these pollinators are in danger due to declines in insect populations. The global decline of pollinators is symptomatic of a much larger global trend: the rapid acceleration of species extinction rates. In this chapter, Smith and Daily emphasize that the loss of biodiversity is not just due species decline, but also radical landscape transformation. The biggest transformation is the rise of urban areas, with 60% of the human population living in cities with very limited biodiversity. Protected areas have played a central role in conservation since the late nineteenth century, and the designation of such areas has only intensified since the 1970s, with calls for 30% protection by 2030. However, this is not enough to support the biodiversity upon which human society depends. Acts like the Endangered Species Act or the Clean Air Act, introduced in the 1970s, underscored the need for biodiversity to be protected globally, and not just in the isolated pockets of designated protected areas. It is suggested that current government action to increase biodiversity is significant, but not sufficient – we must start seek to implement sustainability at every level in our economic system. Planet Earth’s species, habitats, ecosystems and landscapes are fundamental to who we are as human beings, and we must act quickly.


Jeffrey R. Smith


Gretchen C. Daily