Biodiversity has recently become a hot topic around the world due to increasing pressure on the environment. Human activities and natural processes have an immense impact on the quantity, diversity and variability of natural resources. Conscious and joint efforts are therefore needed to address the problems of biodiversity loss at all levels. Deforestation in the Atlantic coastal forest of Brazil and Madagascar has been going on for several centuries, but the main damage has occurred during this century, especially since 1950, that is, since the spread of large-scale industrialization and plantation agriculture in Brazil and since the beginning of rapid population growth in Madagascar. All this means that in these areas alone, up to 50,000 species have been eliminated or condemned in the last 35 years. This equates to an approximate average of nearly 1,500 species per year – a figure consistent with Wilson`s (1987) independent assessment, which postulates an extinction rate in all tropical forests of perhaps 10,000 species per year. Of course, many reserves participate in these calculations. More species than what is postulated can remain until a new balance is established and causes their disappearance. Conversely, more species are likely to have disappeared in the later stages of the 35-year period than in the initial phase. Whatever the details of the result, we can reasonably use the numbers and conclusions to create a working estimate of the extent to which an extinction spasm is already underway. This article is part of the Thematic Collection: Biodiversity Conservation and Reserves.
In general, nature conservation tends to preserve and enrich biodiversity. Nature conservation in the UK is guided by various policies, laws and agreements from various stakeholders (legal, voluntary, academic and commercial). The UK has demonstrated innovation and leadership through successive biodiversity strategies that take a decentralised and integrated ecosystem approach to implement the activities needed to tackle biodiversity loss (JNCC and Defra, 2012: 4). The United Kingdom is a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and is committed to the biodiversity targets and „Aichi Targets“ agreed in 2010. These are set out in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The United Kingdom has also committed to developing and using a set of indicators to report on progress towards these international goals and targets (Joint Nature Conservation Committee, 2016b). .