- An umbrella term to describe collectively the variety and variability
of nature. It encompasses three basic levels of organisation in living
systems: the genetic, species, and ecosystem levels. Plant and animal
species are the most commonly recognized units of biological diversity,
thus public concern has been mainly devoted to conserving species diversity.
The United Nations defines biodiversity as "the variability among living
organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine
and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they
are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and
- Genetic diversity: the variation between individuals
and between populations within a species; species diversity: the different
types of plants, animals and other life forms within a region; community
or ecosystem diversity: the variety of habitats found within an area
(grassland, marsh, and woodland for instance).
AND THE ENVIRONMENT