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Biodiversity and Cultural Diversity in Ireland

There is an importance for both biological and cultural diversity in every country.
Biodiversity matters because it can provide you with food, fuel, medicine, and many other
necessities that humans cannot live without (1). As humans, we have become an integral aspect
of biodiversity since we can have an impact on it positively or negatively. Cultural diversity is
also important because every culture is complex and can have the capacity to change quickly and
increase the flexibility of social systems (5). In terms of Ireland, it is a country that has been
filled with a rich natural heritage. With much of Irelands biodiversity in the marine
environment, this plays a key role in our nations well-being and the culture around us because it
not only provides goods and service but room for tourism as well (1). With that being said, there
is a negative correlation in the countrys connection between biological and cultural diversity
due to threats to nature.
Around the world, a variety of species are being lost 1,00 times faster than what is
considered the natural rate primarily due to human activities (4). The current situation with
Ireland is that a majority of the countrys habitats have been reported to be of poor conservation
status from the Habitats Detective (4). In particular, only 39% of the species listed are considered
to be in favorable state (4). These species include bees, fish, molluscs, and non-marine molluscs.
Seeing that nearly 80% of Irelands population inhabits in the 15 coastal countries, this relates to
cultural diversity as there is a lack of awareness of maritime heritage and its cultural importance
(3). While many settlements over the centuries have evolved into attractive human habitats,
poorly deformed developed has caused damage to settlement heritages. AS human pressures on
Irelands costal areas are increasing, there is a great need of effective management regarding
environmental sustainability.
In the past, Irelands culture has been affected by the biodiversity of plants through the
Irish Potato Famine that lasted for six years between 1845 to 1852. Killing over a million
children, men and women, this has a vast influence on the cultural diversity seeing that it caused
another million people to flee the country altogether. As genetic diversity eroded, Irelands
capacity to maintain crop forest and livestock productivity was virtually nothing (2). Since
potatoes had become such a stable crop even in the poorest regions, it changed the dynamic of
not only Ireland but the entire world.

http://www.revisionism.nl/Potato/The-Mad-Revisionist.htm
Today, Ireland is known to have environmental issues that affects the biodiversity, Its
biggest issue that its species face direct habitat damage, which can primarily be caused by either
infrastructure development and wetland drainage or water pollution by nutrients (4). Although it
is early to see dramatic changes that will alter Irelands habitats, there have been signs of
minimal changes through birds. A Bird Atlas conducted that there has been evidence of shifts
involving the distribution of breeding Swift and Swallow migrants, which are part of subSaharan (4). Since there has been declines in south-eastern Britain and an increase in Ireland,
researchers can indicate that there is now a north-western shift (4). What this also implies for the
country is that coastal habitats will be affected due to increases in sea levels.

Sources:
1. Actions for Biodiversity 2011-2016. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2015, from
https://www.cbd.int/doc/world/ie/ie-nbsap-v2-en.pdf

2. Biodiversity to Nurture People. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2015, from


http://www.fao.org/docrep/004/v1430e/V1430E04.htm

3. Conserving Irelands Maritime Heritage. (2006, April 1). Retrieved November 13, 2015,
from

http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/fileadmin/user_upload/Publications/Marine/Marine_Policy
06_Eng.pdf

4. Irelands Environment: Nature and Biodiversity. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2015,
from http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/indicators/epa_factsheet_biodiversity_v2.pdf

5. Adams,B., Berkes, F., Dudley, N., & Pretty, J. (2012). The Intersection of Biological
Diversity and Cultural Diversity: Towards Integration. Conservation and Society, 7(2),
100-112. Retrieved November 13, 2015, from
http://woods.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/documents20121112-YES-The-Intersectionsof-Biological-Diversity-and-Cultural-Diversity-Pretty-etal.pdf