Dear editor - Thank you for publishing this article in your column.

A country in which, we all dress the same, united by our 'Pidgin' (broken English) language, eat the same food and tend to listen to the same music. Most of our natural areas and forests are either, being ploughed or dug up for roads, valuable minerals, buildings and plantations or, are being cleared, as development needs arise. On the other hand, our marine environment also suffers as the needs for marine resources continue to rise. The pressure in which our development needs have mounted onto our natural environment has prompted me to ask this question, "Why Biodiversity is important for my country?" A diverse and sustainable world is a world that is prosperous, peaceful, healthy, colorful, vibrant and resilient. There is a growing recognition that diversity- biological as well as linguistic and cultural diversity-is the lifeblood of sustainable development and human welfare. Diversity is key to resilience-the ability of natural and social systems to adapt to change.

We've already experience devastating floods, landslides, king tides or storm surges while the conservation community shakes its head in dismay knowing that, protecting people from the full force of these disasters could be so simple and so cheap if we let nature act as a buffer. History has revealed that mankind has drawn on diversity in the past for basic needs such as food and shelter, but also in much deeper cultural and spiritual ways. People are drawn to the beauty of nature for recreation, relaxation and inspiration. In recent years, we see biodiversity in increasingly practical terms-as a source of cures to diseases and helping us adapt to changing conditions such as climate change.

I would like to take this as an opportunity, to call on our good leaders and The People of Solomon islands to make wise decisions regarding development as we are rapidly losing our diversity, despite all the warnings. Ancient civilizations collapsed because of environmental damage. Monocultures contribute to agricultural disasters like the Irish Potato Famine. Excessive development and consumerism are destroying our natural systems, standardizing landscapes and eroding cultures. Stress, obesity and community breakdown are increasing rapidly. We are aware that our current population growth rate is not sustainable and may not lead us to the life we want if we ignore the importance of biodiversity in our communities and our country.

Kuti. R. Peroghala
USP Laucala Campus
Suva, Fiji.