What is Biodiversity?

What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity is defined as ...

"the variability among living organisms from all sources… and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”

(Convention on Biological Diversity, Article 2).

Biodiversity...(= Biological Diversity)

... is the richness and beauty of all life on earth

from ants to whales, genes to ecosystems. Its quality, diversity and functioning is the world’s natural capital and builds the basis of our economic and social well-being and that of all future generations.

... is the diversity of all life on earth

It varies over time and place. For example, fewer birds live in Scandinavia in winter than in summer and a different number of organisms can be found in the tundra and the savannah. Biodiversity is not limited to national parks: it is everywhere.

... is integral to sustainable development

by providing vital goods and services, such as food, timber, carbon sequestration and flood regulation.

Key messages

  • Biodiversity is the biological diversity between species, within species and between ecosystems.
  • It does not include non-living things such as CO2.
  • It can change over time.
  • It can be found everywhere, also in your backyard.
  • Biodiversity is the bases of human well-being and live on earth.