Biodiversity is the whole variety of life on Earth, all species
of plants and animals, their genetic variation and the habitats
they are part of. It includes not just the rare or the threatened but also the wildlife that is familiar to us in the places where we live and work.
Why does biodiversity matter?
Without biodiversity we could not survive. The loss of too much habitat and too many species would threaten the functioning of our natural environment.
Biodiversity as part of our Natural Capital
supports our lives by regulating the chemical composition of the atmosphere, soil, lakes, oceans and it can also moderate the climate.
Biodiversity provides the food we eat and can improve the quality and quantity of the water we drink. It supplies us with medicines, clothes, fuel and building materials.
Biodiversity as vegetation can assist us in defending our land, homes and businesses from floods and erosion. Biodiversity can also help to protect us from nutrient, dust and noise pollution by natural processes. Animals, fungi and bacteria help to break down some of our waste and create productive soils.
Biodiversity provides a better living environment with health, recreational and inspirational benefits. It is an important part of the tourism industry and contributes to a sense of place. It forms the natural landscapes of mountains, woodlands, wetlands and coastlines that we value so much.
Biodiversity is appreciated by many people as is shown by the large numbers that belong to or work for nature conservation organisations, record species, follow nature trails or just enjoy wildlife programmes.