Biodiversity is Vital!
Life on earth is enormously diverse. Every life form, ecosystem and genetic variety, from the smallest bacteria, fungi and plants to the largest animals, the tropical rainforests or the Dutch pastureland, is unique and irreplaceable. This enormous variety is what we call biodiversity.
Many life forms on earth are mutually dependent. Diversity plays an important role in this. Even people cannot survive without other organisms. Biodiversity is not only beautiful, but also useful and necessary. It gives us
clean water, fertile soil and a stable climate, but it also gives us food and raw materials for housing, clothing, fuel and medicines. These natural resources safeguard our future and form the basis of our prosperity. Biodiversity contributes to the quality of life and human welfare.
Biodiversity is under serious threat from global climate change, increased consumption, pollution, the introduction of exotic species and the overexploitation of natural areas and natural resources. Many species of plants and animals are disappearing and ecosystems are under threat. Clean air and water, fertile soil and a stable climate are no longer guaranteed. This affects people in poor countries, who often depend directly on the fruits of the forests and the land, but it also affects us. Biodiversity loss and the depletion of natural resources ultimately threaten everyone's survival.
This has to change! The Dutch government has made the sustainable use of biodiversity and an increased knowledge of biodiversity and natural resources a priority. It has taken steps to develop an effective national and
international policy. But this is not solely a government responsibility. This crucial problem can only be addressed through close cooperation between the government, citizens, companies and non-governmental organisations.