Why do we depend on biodiversity? A key question for the Anthropocene

“The human being cannot be separated from biodiversity. Our vital functions and our health are immersed in synergies with other species… Therefore, detachment from biodiversity is the greatest threat to human survival, as well as the current development model that adversely affects our life support.”


The above words begin the presentation of the book ¿Por qué dependemos de la biodiversidad? (Why do we depend on biodiversity, by Dr Juan Armando Sánchez, eminence in marine biology in Colombia, Professor and Leader of the Marine Molecular Biology Laboratory (BIOMMAR) of the Universidad de los Andes, and CEMarin Researcher. The book was presented on March 10, 2022, in Bogotá, with a discussion between the author and Manuel Rodríguez Becerra, Emeritus Professor at the Universidad de los Andes and the first Minister of the Environment of Colombia.


The two experts chatted about the most important themes of the book: the relationships and interdependencies of biodiversity with human life and health, food security, climate change, and current development models. According to Rodríguez, this outstanding and must-read book manages to answer the question of why we depend on biodiversity, in just 150 pages and in a way that is accessible to non-experts.


According to Sánchez, Colombia –as a bi-oceanic and megadiverse country– is the perfect canvas on which to create his message: “nature has simple and sustainable solutions to the emerging problems of society.” However, it is also clear that Colombians themselves do not always recognise and appreciate the wealth of biodiversity that surrounds us, an immense biodiversity that is, in the words of the author, “our greatest treasure”. This book makes an important contribution to the efforts to close this gap and overcome the lack of knowledge of the sea and the misunderstanding of its importance.


From CEMarin, we extend our congratulations to Dr Sánchez for his book and his contribution to the knowledge of the importance of biodiversity. Through his professional experience and personal testimony, he builds a compelling case for the proper management and protection of biodiversity. At CEMarin we are convinced that publications of this nature play an important role in building ties between the academic and scientific spheres and the broader public, including decision makers.


We highly recommend that everyone watches the complete discussion, available here, and of course we invite you all to read the book. (Note: the video and book are currently available only in Spanish.)


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