What is Biodiversity?

What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity is short for biological diversity, or the variety of plants and animals in the world.

We depend on this richness of plants and animals. It has important economic benefits, through farming, fishing, tourism and through the provision of raw materials for things like medical research. Plants and animals are an important part of our cultural heritage, and give us pleasure and enjoyment. Biodiversity also provides us with natural services such as soil creation, biological control of pests and flood prevention.



Where did it all start?

The word biodiversity came from the “Earth Summit” held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, where 159 countries (including Britain) recognised the value of biodiversity to human life and signed the Convention on Biological Diversity. This pledges the UK to conserve biodiversity, to use its components in a way that ensures they continue to be available for future generations, and to share the benefits of biodiversity fairly and equitably between all nations and people. This way of using resources is an integral part of the philosophy of sustainable development, whereby any development should ensure that it does not deprive the quality of life of future generations.

It is not just about habitats and species or designated sites; it is also about the sustainable and equitable use of resources, and about local communities setting their own, local priorities for action on the ground.

Highland Environment Forum

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