Biodiversity means the whole variety of life on Earth. It encompasses
all living things, from human beings to micro-organisms, not just
species which are rare or threatened.
Biodiversity, which is short for biological diversity, covers the
diversity of species, the diversity of the habitats in which they
live, and genetic diversity within species.
Biodiversity is fundamental for the Earth's life support system.
It provides basic natural services which mankind has always been
able to take for granted, such as the provision of fresh water,
fertile soil, clean air and stable weather systems. How many species
are necessary for this, how they interact with each other, and how
they contribute to natural services is still largely unknown. But
over the past twenty-five years species have been disappearing in
alarming numbers, and many common species are also declining. The
current estimation is that extinction is one thousand times the
natural rate, due almost entirely to human activity.
More information on biodiversity is available on the following
What is Biodiversity?
Services Provided by Biodiversity
Photo Credit: Peter Wakely/ English Nature