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International Year of Biodiversity SI

International Year of Biodiversity

The expression biodiversity refers to the number of different species that may be found in space and time in a given context. We are talking about diversity in terms of species and not of the individuals that make up a species.
Since the beginning of life on Earth, throughout thousands of millions of years that new species have arisen from other species – a phenomenon called speciation. Whenever populations are subject to isolation or to different environmental conditions, they end up evolving in diverging directions and become too distinct to breed amongst each other, in spite of having a recent common ancestor.
We humans have the same ancestors as the hominids who preceded us and, before that, as the apes and the chimpanzees.

Together with the remaining mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians we all descended from fish... and we can continue the descent down the tree of evolution to the simplest and oldest living beings.
New species emerge while others become extinct and in the «History of the Earth» several mass extinctions have in fact occurred, as it was the case with the dinosaurs 64 million years ago. Life always resumes its course, though, and of the remaining species a new diversity of species slowly emerges; however the species that disappear will be forever extinct.
The biodiversity level may be viewed as a measurement of the state of health of a given system. If there is a considerable decline, locally or globally, in the number of species, this may indicate that the system is ailing. In present times the number of species on our planets is drastically declining, every single day. And it is us, humans, who are the main responsible for that situation. Although we are the most recent inhabitants on this planet, in evolutionary terms we have arrived only recently, in the last decades we have created more imbalances in the ecosystems and caused greater decline in biodiversity than what took place in the last million years.
The 19th century belief that Man dominates Nature is outdated. Our species is a product of Nature and we are also part of it. Humankind must learn to develop and to integrate in a balanced manner. The conservation of biodiversity must be a priority, since our survival depends on it.

Pedro Salgado

Technical Details

Issue Date: 08.03.2010
Designer: Atelier FOLK DESIGN
Illustrator: Pedro Salgado
Printer: CARTOR Security Printing
Size: 40 x 30,6 mm, 125 x 95 mm
Values: ?2,27 ?2,50 ?3,28, ?3,74
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