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Environmental Benefits of Biodiversity

Biodiversity encompasses the diversity of life – the varying and different species, genes and ecosystems of the Earth. Given the myriad interconnections amongst all the forms of life, the loss of a species or variation within a species, or the diminishment of an ecosystem has the potential to threaten the rest of life, including humans. The current global rate of species extinction is between 1,000 and 10,000 times the normal and 60% of ecosystem services worldwide are either degraded or being used unsustainably. Whether one values biodiversity for the services it provides to humans, or instead sees all species and ecosystem as having a right to exist, the accelerating loss of biodiversity, driven largely by the development of natural lands, makes the need for conservation ever more pressing.