What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity is short for 'biological diversity', which describes the variety of life we have on Earth.
It encompasses all living things from basking sharks to bluebells or humans, the habitats in which they live and the genetic diversity between each other.
Why is biodiversity important?
Every living thing is connected in some way to one another, it may not be obvious but nothing on this planet could live without the help of other living things. These inter-connected relationships are vital; they support all life on Earth, without which we would be unable to survive. Biodiversity provides us with somewhere to live, supplies us with food to eat and all our medicines, the air we breathe and cleans our water. Organisms that interact form a community that depends on one another for their survival be it directly or indirectly. This this is known as an ecosystem. All life on Earth depends on a healthy, functioning ecosystem, without it we wouldn’t be here.
It is important to maintain these relationships and to protect all other species we share our ecosystem with.
Unfortunately biodiversity and the ecosystems in which they live are under threat, mainly from the actions of humans. The human population has never been so high and is still continuously growing, placing greater unsustainable demands on the planets resources. Threats such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive alien species, climate change, pollution, and over exploitation are all contributing to the loss in biodiversity.