What is biodiversity?

The definition

Biodiversity is the variety of all living things including plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they all contain, and the ecosystems of which they form a part.

…And why is it important?

River & riparian vegBiodiversity provides vital ecosystem ‘services’ such as the clean air we need to breathe and the clean water we drink, bathe and cook with.

Biodiversity provides social, cultural and aesthetic (how things look) benefits as well.

“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.” John Ruskin (1819-1900)

Everyone likes to be in natural spaces for their physical, mental and emotional well being. Think of all the activities people like doing in the outdoors – hiking, mountain bike riding, surfing, painting, camping and photography are just some examples.

Indigenous people have strong spiritual and cultural ties to the landscape.

Artists and photographers have spent centuries attempting to capture the natural beauty of our country on canvas, in photos or on film.

Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax Photographed in TasmaniaThe economic benefits of biodiversity include better productivity on farms – think about the importance of bees in pollinating our food crops – and keeping tourists coming to Australia.

Try this:

What is your favourite outdoor activity and why is it important to preserve the place where you do it?Biodiversity is important for ethical reasons too – no generation has the right to use all our natural resources without considering what will be left for future generations.

Info flash:

“The Australian Government declared the world’s biggest marine reserve in the Coral Sea off Queensland as part of a package protecting more than 2.3 million sq km of ocean in marine parks around Australia last year…” NT News

More on Biodiversity:

What's happening?

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TAS: Micro world of ants – 7th November 2015

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