Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth that underpins ecosystem services. The creation of that diversity came slow and hard: 3 billion years of evolution. Many species may have ecological functions man has not yet discovered. Does this fact entitle the society to discard seemingly useless parts? With a view to the oncoming changes such as climate change, the article admonishes the readers that the question should no longer be “how much biodiversity the society can afford”, but rather “whether the society can afford, not to conserve and enhance biodiversity as natural capital”.

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