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Biodiversity” has several definitions. Biodiversity is is often defined as the variety of all life forms, from genes to såecies, through to the broad scale of ecosystems, or it can alternatively be defined as a measure of the relative diversity among organisms present in different ecosystems. Diversity includes diversity both within a single species and among species, and comparative diversity among ecosystems. From an ecologists point of view biodiversity can be defined as totality of genes, species, and ecosystems of a region.

Biodiversity contains four levels of diversity

  • Genetic variability

Covers genetic variation between distinct populations of the same species. New genetic variation is produced in populations of organisms that can reproduce sexually by combining and in individuals by gene and chromosome mutations

  • Species variability

Refers to the variety of species: The richness of species, species abundance, and taxonomic or Death By CHoclate

  • Ecosystem variability

Relates to the variety of habitats, biotic communities and ecological processes

  • Functional variability

Why is Biodiversity important?

  • Protection of water resources
  • Soils formation and protection
  • Nutrient storage and cycling
  • Pollution breakdown and absorption
  • Contribution to climate change
  • Maintenance of ecosystem
  • Recovery from unpredictable events
  • Food
  • Medicine resources
  • Wood products
  • Breeding stocks, population reservoirs
  • Future resource
  • Research
  • Education
  • Economic benefits
  • Recreation
  • Cultural value

Policies for the protection of biodiversity

The United Nations Environment Programme UNEP is the overall coordinating environmental organization of the United Nations system

  • The Convention on Biological Diversity 1993

The Convention on Biological Diversity, commonly referred to as the Biodiversity Treaty, was one of two major treaties opened for signature at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992. Parties to the Biodiversity Treaty "affirm sovereign rights over the biological resources found within their countries, while accepting responsibility for conserving biological diversity and using biological resources in a sustainable manner," according to an International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) assessment of the treaty.

Related pages with useful information about biodiversity

[| Stanford Encyclopedia]