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Biodiversity Education

Biological diversity (or biodiversity) means the variety of life on Earth, including all organisms big and small. Biodiversity at the levels of species, genes and ecosystems forms the web of life of which we are an integral part and upon which we all depend.

Biodiversity helps to sustain life on earth and human health. Yet we still know relatively little about the diverse species and interactions of plants, animals, insects, and microbes on our planet. It is increasingly clear that the planet's biodiversity is at risk due to human activities such as pollution, erosion, desertification, deforestation, as well as larger trends of extinction and climate change. For a brief introduction to biodiversity, see the pamphlet we have produced as a background resource.

At the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, 150 countries from around the world (including Canada) signed the Convention of Biological Diversity, an international agreement to conserve the world’s biological resources. The Convention also underscores the important role of Indigenous peoples and local communities in conserving biodiversity.  International Biodiversity Day on May 22 helps us to remember our commitment. This year’s theme is “Biodiversity and Climate Change”

But the problem of biodiversity loss is BIG so what can a single person or community do? We can start with learning what biodiversity means right in our own backyards, why it is important, and what might be threatening it at a local level. Equipped with knowledge and insights, we can strive to make more informed decisions as individuals and communities, whether on how to live well, encourage our youth in healthful choices for their future, or make land use decisions that ultimately  support human and ecosystem well-being.

What does biodiversity mean to you, in your own backyard?

Page last updated: 02/03/2013