Biodiversity is the amazing variety of all living things on our planet - from plankton, wildflowers and insects to mammals, reptiles, trees and birds. It also applies to the habitats in which these living things are to be found - oceans, woodlands, meadows and wetlands, as well as man-made places such as fields, parks and canals. Even so-called ‘wasteland’ can be a rich source of biodiversity.

Biodiversity is essential because it impacts on all of our lives, both directly and indirectly.

All species, including humans, require a range of basic resources to keep them alive and healthy. Humans need oxygen to breathe, water to drink, food to eat and shelter from the weather. The living things on our planet provide much of this for us, so their conservation is vital if we are to survive.

Preserving planet Earth's biodiversity is also essential because:

  • no-one knows just what other benefits may be lost when species become extinct or what impact this will have on other species or habitats.
  • healthy natural ecosystems help control flooding, drought and soil erosion.
  • the quality of our lives is greatly enriched by the natural environment
  • all species have as much moral right to exist as humans

Biodiversity Environmental Review