What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity encompasses the whole variety of life on Earth. It includes all species of plants and animals, but also their genetic variation, and the complex ecosystems of which they are part. It is not restricted to rare or threatened species but includes the whole of the natural world from the commonplace to the critically endangered.

The world is losing biodiversity at an ever-increasing rate as a result of human activity. In the UK we have lost over 100 species during the last century, with many more species and habitats in danger of disappearing, especially at the local level. On a world scale the rate of loss is now recognised to be a cause for serious concern, requiring concerted international action to prevent continued loss of biodiversity. (Source DEFRA 2007.)

The UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is the UK Government's response to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) signed in 1992. It describes the UK's biological resources; commits a detailed plan for the protection of these resources and has 391 Species Action Plans, 45 Habitat Action Plans and 162 Local Biodiversity Action Plans with targeted actions.

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Industrial plant

Biodiversity encompasses the whole variety of life on Earth and includes all species of plants and animals