This introductory conservation course explores the journey of biodiversity from its early evolution to the current crisis. First, you will learn what biodiversity is, how we can describe it at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels and the concepts of evolution, adaptation and extinction. By understanding these fundamental evolutionary ideas whereby species evolve or go extinct in response to environmental conditions, you will appreciate how rapid human-induced environmental change impacts global biodiversity today. Next, you will learn how biodiversity supports our survival by providing natural resources and ecosystem services ranging from pollination and flood protection to those that promote health and wellbeing. We will see how all species on Earth are linked in a complex interwoven web and how we need healthy functioning ecosystems for the survival of millions of species on Earth, including ours.
In 2019, one of the most comprehensive assessments of global biodiversity ever compiled was published by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The report stated that of the estimated 8 million species today, one million are at risk of extinction, many within decades. Many scientists now believe that we have entered the sixth mass extinction event in the planet's history. The causes of previous mass extinction events included volcanic activity, meteor strikes, climate change and combinations of these. Today, the cause of biodiversity loss arises from the actions of one species: humans. The unsustainable consumption of natural resources is at the core of this issue, especially biodiversity loss, land use changes, over-exploitation of natural resources, pollution, the introduction of invasive alien species and climate change.
Scientific research shows that biodiversity and climate crises are both imminent and immense. We can still make the transformative change needed to avoid severe impacts if we quote Greta Thunberg, “Listen to the science.” Climate change is a significant threat to biodiversity. In turn, biodiversity resources such as oceans, wetlands, peatlands, grasslands and forests can help reduce the effects and protect against the impacts of climate change through processes including primary production and carbon sequestration, flood attenuation and storm surge protection. Our ancestors understood how reliant we are on nature for our survival. Part of the solution lies in rediscovering our connection to and reliance on Nature. By appreciating the natural world's staggering diversity, complexity and beauty, we can learn to respect and protect biodiversity. Start Course Now
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All Alison courses are free to enrol study and complete. To successfully complete this course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this course, you have the option to acquire an official Diploma, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world.
Your Alison is:
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Alison offers 3 types of Diplomas for completed Diploma courses:
- Digital : a downloadable in PDF format immediately available to you when you complete your purchase.
- : a physical version of your officially branded and security-marked , posted to you with FREE shipping.
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All are available to purchase through the Alison Shop. For more information on purchasing Alison , please visit our FAQs. If you decide not to purchase your Alison , you can still demonstrate your achievement by sharing your Learner Record or Learner Achievement Verification, both of which are accessible from your Dashboard. For more details on our pricing, please visit our Pricing Page