Understanding and appreciating the need for biodiversity conservation in Nigeria
Journal of Medicinal Plants Research
Biodiversity is becoming one of the major environmental issues of our times. The basic problem is the increased rate of extinction as a result of expanding human population, resource exploitation, land clearing and land use development. Biodiversity by definition refers to the life forms on earth and include the millions of plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain and the intricate ecosystems they help built into the living environment. Some 1.4 million species have been
... ibed but biologists now believe the total number is between 10 and 80 million. The question that may readily come to mind is why the interest in biodiversity and its conservation? Of course, biodiversity conservation is important because it forms the major part of our life-support systems. For instance biodiversity constitute the source of all our food, much of our raw materials, a wide range of goods and services and genetic materials for agriculture, medicine, industry and commerce worth millions of dollars per year. For Nigeria and other African countries, biodiversity is of critical importance to our survival as our livelihood is dependent on having free and open access to a great variety of biological resources for food, fuel, medicine, housing materials, farm implement and economic security. Unfortunately, these biological wealth are today seriously threatened. The greatest threat is habitat destruction and one of such habitats is the tropical rainforest. Estimated to contain between 50 and 90% of the earths species, tropical forest is the major storehouse of biodiversity. This review paper therefore tried to bring to the front the issue of biodiversity, its importance and how it is threatened as a way of creating the necessary awareness needed for its conservation.