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Should we protect nature for its own sake? For its economic value? Because it makes us happy? Yes | News

A ladybug crawls on a paloverde flower in Joshua Tree National Park, California. Hannah Schwalbe, NPS/Flickr

As spring phases into summer in North America, with trees flowering and birds migrating, nature seems abundant. In fact, however, the Earth is losing animals, birds, reptiles and other living things so fast that some scientists believe the planet is entering the sixth mass extinction in its history.

This fall, the United Nations will convene governments from around the world in Kunming, China, to establish new goals for protecting Earth’s ecosystems and their biodiversity – the variety of life at all levels, from genes to ecosystems.

Some people, cultures and nations believe biodiversity is worth conserving because ecosystems provide many services that support human prosperity, health and…

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