Biodiversity

Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is most often associated with the earth’s vast variety of plants, animals, and microorganisms, but the term encompasses diversity at all levels—from genes to species to ecosystems to landscapes. Scientists estimate there are approximately 8.7 million species globally, of which approximately 2.2 million are marine. In spite of 250 years of research and over 1.2 million species already identified, it is possible 86% of existing species on Earth and 91% of species in the ocean still await description.

In each ecosystem, including those that occur within or among forests, wetlands, mountains, deserts, and rivers, living creatures interact with each other as well as with the air, water, and soil around them, forming an interconnected community. The ecosystem services provided by biodiversity are estimated to be worth trillions of dollars—double the world’s GDP. Biodiversity also includes genetic differences within species, such as different breeds and varieties, as well as chromosomes, genes, and genetic sequences (DNA). Biodiversity also has human benefits. For example, many new medicines are harvested from nature, such as the rosy periwinkle, which provides two very important cancer-fighting medicines.

Events and Articles

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60th Meeting of the GEF Council

The 60th meeting of the Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved a Work Program comprising 33 projects and three programs.
Event 14 June 2021 - 18 June 2021

Stakeholder Days and 8th Session of the IPBES Plenary

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an independent, intergovernmental body, established in 2012, to provide evidence-based, objective, and policy-relevant information to decision makers regarding the planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems, and the benefits…
Event 3 June 2021 - 24 June 2021

3rd Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-3)

The Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will convene virtually to advance the preparations for the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, currently scheduled to take place in October 2021 in Kunming, China.
Event 16 May 2021 - 13 June 2021

73rd Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee

The CITES Standing Committee agreed to give input to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, work on the African Carnivores Initiative, and conduct a risk analysis for future meetings amid the pandemic.
Event 5 May 2021 - 7 May 2021

12th Meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Monaco Blue Initiative brought together major players in ocean conservation and governance to explore solutions to challenges facing our Ocean and to promote a sustainable blue economy.
Event 22 March 2021