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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59th Meeting of the GEF Council

The 59th Meeting of the GEF Council took place from 7-11 December 2020 as a virtual event, in line with continued health and safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Event 4 December 2020 - 12 December 2020

Biodiversity Summit

The Summit on Biodiversity will be convened at the level of Heads of State and Government under the theme “Urgent Action on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development” on 30 September 2020.
Event 30 September 2020

Coverage of Selected Side Events at the UN Summits Week 2020

The 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly will open with a gathering of world leaders from 23-29 September, who will participate in a series of summits, high-level meetings and side events.
Event 22 September 2020 - 29 September 2020

Convention on Biological Diversity: Special Virtual Sessions

The twenty-fourth meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) and the third meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) are due to be held in early 2021, having been rescheduled since May 2020 due the…
Event 15 September 2020 - 18 September 2020

58th Meeting of the GEF Council

Representatives of governments, international organizations, and civil society organizations (CSOs) came together in an online format for the 58th meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council to develop, adopt and evaluate the operational policies and programs for GEF-financed…
Event 2 June 2020 - 3 June 2020

11th Meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative

The 11th meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative will convene for its first-ever digital edition under the presidency of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Event 28 May 2020 - 24 June 2020