September 12, 2007

What is Biodiversity?

We hear every day and more and more often talking about Biodiversity.

But, do we really know, what is it all about?

Being a member of the 2010 Countdown site (source for this article, visit and sign up:

Well, Biodiversity is an all encompassing term to describe the variety of all life and natural processes on Earth.

The Convention on Biological Diversity defines it as “the variability among living organisms from all sources [...] this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”.

So we can understand, that this is terribily IMPORTANT to keep, because, loosing Biodiversity means loosing many species of animals, plants and types of living forms.

Facts ....!
- The abundance of species has declined by 40% between 1970 and 2000.

- Since 2000, 36 million hectares of primary forest have been lost each year

- In the Caribbean region, hard coral cover has declined by 80%, 35% of mangroves have been lost in just 20 years

- Global ecosystem services are estimated at $16-$64 trillion

Why care?
As noted by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) released in March 2005, human activities have taken the planet to the edge of a massive wave of species extinctions, further threatening our own well-being. For instance, current rates of loss are estimated at 100 to 1,000 times natural background levels.

These findings are confirmed by the statistics from the IUCN Red List of over 15,500 threatened species, which show that 23% of mammals, 12% of birds and 31% of amphibians globally are threatened.

The Millennium Assessment puts a special emphasis on how ecosystem services contribute to human well-being and concludes that humanity’s future depends on healthy ecosystems.
Have you ever considered that the glass of clear, cold, clean water drawn from your faucet may have been purified for you by a wetland or perhaps the root system of an entire forest? If we follow the chain of production for many products back to the source, more often than not we arrive back at biodiversity.

The 2010 Biodiversity Target
The goal of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 is the subject of several key international agreements.
Each recognises the rapid degradation of ecosystems and habitats, the increasing threat to many species populations and the urgent need to take action that will halt the decline in irreplaceable natural resources.

In political terms, these commitments represent a radical departure from previous approaches.

For the first time, an overall conservation target has been adopted rather than generally formulated objectives or specific measures that may or may not have the desired conservation effect. In that sense, the significance of these agreements cannot be overstated.

However, given the current rapid decline in biodiversity, both in Europe and worldwide, and the ever-increasing extent and intensity of many human activities, the objective of halting the decline in biodiversity by 2010 will require unprecedented efforts in adapting our activities to the needs of natural systems.

Countdown 2010 focal points in many regions worldwide assess the specific threats to biodiversity and possible approaches to alleviate them, and work with stakeholders to increase the level of action towards the 2010 biodiversity target. Currently, Countdown 2010 Hubs are active here:

And you can also be part of this incredible project!!

Concluding, sing the declaration of saving Biodaversity by 2010 by downloading the file here: and visit regularly the website, to keep updated about what you can do to save the world!


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