The Earth's biological resources are vital to humanity's economic and social development. As a result, there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to present and future generations. At the same time, the threat to species and ecosystems has never been so great as it is today. Species extinction caused by human activities continues at an alarming rate.
Biodiversity is the diversity among living organisms, which is essential to ecosystems function and services delivery.
Biodiversity includes diversity within and among species and ecosystems. Changes in biodiversity can influence the supply of ecosystem services. Biodiversity, as with ecosystem services, must be protected and sustainably managed.
Ecosystems – living elements which interact with each other and their non-living environments – provide benefits, or services, to the world.
Ecosystem services are the multitude of benefits that nature provides to society. They make human life possible by, for example, providing nutritious food and clean water, regulating disease and climate, supporting the pollination of crops and soil formation, and providing recreational, cultural and spiritual benefits. Despite an estimated value of $125 trillion, these assets are not adequately accounted for in political and economic policy, which means there is insufficient investment in their protection and management. Read about the four types of services the world’s ecosystems provide in the section below.
Did you know
Climate change disrupts
the seasonal and geographical
patterns of migratory species.
90% of biodiversity!
whales, dolphins, and porpoises
each year as a result of by-catch.
Conserving habitats of waterbirds helps
restore wetlands as carbon sinks.
disperse the seeds of tree species,
sustain ecosystem functions in
Wild, migratory animals are an important resource for human kind, while also providing essential services for the environments and ecological systems through which they pass.
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