The Value of Biodiversity


The Value of Biodiversity


            Biodiversity refers to the nature forms occurring as a result of evolution at all levels of nature (Alho, 2008). The concept of Biodiversity is used in reference to species from the same group, or different groups, and organisms that are genetically distinct or varied in their habitants. Through natural evolution process as well as the human activities, the organisms keep on changing year after year (Alho, 2008). The research paper looks into the value of biodiversity.

Economic Value

Laurila-Pant et al, (2015) outlines three distinct ways in which bio-diversity has economic value. In the first value system, the direct- market valuation is used in the estimation of ecological items in terms of goods and services and the monetary prices as per the market value.  The direct market valuation also looks into the function of the ecological item in terms of its contribution to the manufacture of other goods.  Laurila-Pant et al, (2015) asserts that without the direct value system, the second economic value, indirect valuation comes into play. The bio-diversity can be valued on the basis of the client’s preference forming the preferred economic value. The revealed preference value also arises from the hedonic costs, comprising of travel costs and the cost of replacement in meeting the preference of customers.

Socio-Cultural Value

             Human beings do not always place an economic value on organisms and species. Often, the local communities where particular species are found may attach some spiritual and cultural value to the distinct species ( Laurila-Pant et al, 2015). The additional value attachment may lead to the preservation and protection of biodiversity. The socio-cultural value determines how risk averse a population can be . Also, the socio-cultural value that a community attaches to a specific biodiversity element may help in gauging people’s tastes and preferences regarding bio-diversity.

Intrinsic Value

             Alho(2008) states that the  intrinsic value denotes the value that nature contributes to human beings in its natural form occurring in its habitant.  The intrinsic value attached to human populations emphasizes the need to protect the environment to foster future generations. Alho (2008), outlines that intrinsic value of biodiversity is attributed to the evolutionary elements that determine the future variants of bio-diversity. Ethically, it is morally good to preserve bio-diversity. The ethical perspective emanates from the notion that the loss of bio-diversity is attributed to the human activities. If human beings can be responsible in preservation of bio-diversity, then the intrinsic value shall be maintained.

Aesthetic Value

             Human beings need to occasionally get away from the polluted urban cities and seek contact with nature for its aesthetic value. Naturally occurring landscapes, mountains and flat terrain, and water bodies are a sight to behold. Aesthetic value leads to eco-tourism where there is a charge attached to view specific biodiversity elements (Alho, 2008).  Bird watching, and fish watching as they float are some of the eco-tourism activities.

 Anthropocentric Value

             Biodiversity is valued since it supports the existence of human beings through facilitation of the products and services human beings need.  Nature avails products such as wood, food, genes, chemical products, as well as species. The directly produced commodities can be quantified as distinct items or turned into monetary value. Some of the bio-diversity goods can be harvested and sold in the market without any form of processing.  For example, Fish and Wood can be harvested and sold directly in their natural forms. Bio-diversity is esteemed as the genetic storehouse for the varied bio-technological products as well as cosmetic by-products.  Bio-diversity offers unquantifiable value in terms of climate regulation, reproductive ground as well as feeding habitants for a variety of species. Some of the plant species help in maintaining of soil fertility. The endless interchange of air between the water bodies helps in ensuring the clarity of the air human beings breath.

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Scientific Value of Biodiversity

            The scientists value the natural  species and organisms as they offer a basis of studying the complex human phenomenon(Alho, 2008). The ecosystem offers samples for study to find human cure for ailments as well as discovery of the evolution of plants and animals. Biodiversity are a scientific proof of the evolution of the species from their original forms to the current variants. As such, they are key in the preservation of their heritage.


             In conclusion, Bio-diversity offers both direct and indirect benefits to the human population. Food, wood, and fish are some of the direct benefits of bio-diversity. Through eco-tourism and processing of various naturally occurring phenomena, the value of bio-diversity can be economically calculated. Socio-cultural values help in preservation of biodiversity. Anthropocentric value helps in determination of the non- economic value of the bio-diversity such as soil fertility and air freshening. Thus, bio-diversity is valuable as it continues to indicate   the variants of the plants and animals from the original evolutionary form. It is morally right for communities to keep on protecting bio-diversity for the sake of holistic living.


Alho, C. J. R. (2008). The value of biodiversity. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 68(4), 1115-1118.

Laurila-Pant, M., Lehikoinen, A., Uusitalo, L., & Venesjärvi, R. (2015). How to value biodiversity in environmental management?. Ecological indicators, 55, 1-11.

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