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Biodiversity for Development

Why is this important?

Biodiversity is crucial to development and poverty reduction. The natural goods and services it provides are a key source of food, water, shelter, incomes and livelihoods for billions of people, especially the rural poor who depend on biological resources for up to 90 per cent of their daily needs.

Biodiversity also provides broader benefits beyond providing for people’s immediate needs. These include flood and disease control; spiritual and recreational benefits; and supporting services such as nutrient cycling that maintain the conditions for life on Earth. Biodiversity also generates income and helps sustain the economy, both locally and globally, and with it our security. For example, when agricultural ecosystems are degraded, extreme poverty and hunger are more difficult to address and to overcome.

In the long term, the loss of crop and livestock genetic diversity and decreased availability of wild biological resources can threaten food security for large populations. The threats to biodiversity are therefore threats to development, just as unsustainable development is a threat to biodiversity.

Source: Convention on Biological Diversity

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