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Dec 18th, 2020 by Admin

Biodiversity Loss: Hunger Rising in Mountain Regions

The plants and animals were the first to get affected due to urbanization. Now the people in the mountains are too.

The biodiversity of our planet is taking a huge hit with the rise in various issues primarily created by modern humans. Aside from many plants becoming extinct and animals suffering, now the mountain people have been facing issues of food scarcity and the numbers are growing faster.

Let’s take a brief look into the importance of biodiversity, the loss of it and what that means for the mountain people.

Why Is Biodiversity Important?

According to National Geographic, biodiversity “refers to the variety of living species on Earth, including plants, animals, bacteria, and fungi.”

These species coexist within several ecosystems, most of which are interlinked with each other. So, when one species of an ecosystem takes a hit, it creates a ripple effect and affects every other organism in some way.

In a report by the UN in 2019, it was found that one in four species is at the risk of extinction. In fact, one million species “already face extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken to reduce the intensity of drivers of biodiversity loss”.

On the other hand, marine pollution has affected over 267 species since 1980. And the crops needed for long-term food security are now at risk too. These reasons are just a drop in the ocean of the effect on biodiversity.

This is why it’s most important to preserve our biodiversity, lest it can start to affect us. We’ve taken biodiversity for granted and this mindset has brought us to the verge of an alarming situation threatening the very survival of the species on Earth.

Biodiversity is everything for a man. From the air we breathe, the water we drink to the food we eat, we need living organisms, plants and animals to do their part to maintain a healthy ecosystem. When that’s not the case, the worse conditions are slowly trickling down to the end consumers of most ecosystems – the humans.

Threats for Biodiversity Loss


We can give you a long list of reasons that are threatening and causing biodiversity loss. But, we’re going to look at some top reasons that have been the root causes.

1. Urbanization of Lands

Due to mining, manufacturing units, unsustainable agriculture or any other urbanization activities, we seize the lands on which there were lots of animals and plants. So, when they’re pushed out of their home, slowly the extinction of the species starts.

2. Species Overexploitation

Sometimes, a particular species of plants and animals can be over targeted for commercial purposes or indirectly targeted for modernization. This again leads to the extinction of such species.

3. Pollution

There are different types of pollution: air, water, land, etc. Every one of these pollutions has a direct or indirect effect on the species. For example, the plastics can hamper the growth of certain organisms and thus, the plants around it.

4. Climate Change

Climate change is the biggest threat to biodiversity. Due to the changes in the temperature, it becomes inhabitable for many species and they eventually die.

Hunger Rising due to Biodiversity Loss

mountain regions

In a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and a few other organizations, it’s found the number of mountain people who are facing food security in the developing countries has increased from 243 million to almost 350 million, which is 50% of the total population of the mountain people in the world. This is a staggering number considering that the mountains cover 27% of the world’s land surface and the mountain people accounting for 15% of the global population.

One alarming fact to note is that, between the years of 2021 and 2017, the increase in the number of vulnerable mountain people suffering from food insecurity is almost the same as the increase in the population of mountain people.

This vulnerability and hunger issues of the mountain people “is compounded by the presence and occurrence of natural hazards and armed conflicts that disrupt livelihoods or put strain on the natural resources on which mountain people depend”.

Even when a food scarcity occurs, since they’re isolated from food markets and have limited access to the services and facilities, they’re unable to cope with it. 442 million mountain people live in areas with limited service availability and 17 million people have no or very low access to basic facilities.

The extremes in the climatic conditions are also threatening to erode and reverse the gains in the mountain regions, which is also leading to malnutrition. Land degradation is also a top cause that’s affecting the crop production, water security and animal husbandry. Since the mountain people have a strong dependence on land resources, such issues have a mass effect on the mountain people.


There’s a distinct imbalance in biodiversity since the last decade and the main reasons are completely man made. The mountain people are facing the brunt of the issue along with the plants and animals species. If we don’t take immediate action, the condition is going to become worse and many more species will become extinct.

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