Integrating pollution control and biodiversity conservation

Effective pollution control will only be achieved when the natural environment is capable of integrating and dealing with existing levels of pollution. In order for the environment to handle these loads work is required to build up ecosystems and the biodiversity they contain.
Ecosystems and ecological processes play an important role in the breakdown and absorption of many pollutants created by humans and their activities. These include wastes such as sewage, garbage and oil spills. Components of ecosystems from bacteria to higher life forms are involved in these breakdown and assimilative processes. Excessive quantities of any pollutant, however, can be detrimental to the integrity of ecosystems and their biota.

Some ecosystems, especially wetlands, have qualities that are particularly well suited to breaking down and absorbing pollutants. Natural and artificial wetlands are being used to filter effluents to remove nutrients, heavy metals and suspended solids, reduce the biochemical oxygen demand and destroy potentially harmful microorganisms.

1. The conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal biodiversity must be effectively incorporated into national policies on integrated pollution control.
Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 15: Life on Land