Biodiversity or biological diversity
refers to all varieties of life forms; from micro-organisms
and genetic material, up to plants and animals and the ecosystems
they form and inhabit. To maintain a balance throughout an
ecosystem, it is essential that diversity in all the above
categories be maintained. This diversity is not static, and
increases when a new species is created and decreases when
a species is lost through extinction. Biodiversity is the
interrelation therefore between the living world and the processes
that go on there.
Biodiversity conservation is important from two points of
view: that which concerns its use benefits, such as the potential
for agriculture, forestry medicinal supplies, and tourism,
and also from a perspective which has no economic use, or
non-use benefits. Non-use benefits would include the cultural
and aesthetic aspects of a place and also the idea of a right
to enjoy a place just because you can.
Biodiversity can be lost through hunting, loss of habitat
and as a side effect of land use and potentially as a result
of climate change.