United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

In the history of Earth, the law of nature has led animals, plants and other forms of life to evolve into diversified species adapting themselves to unique environments and to become its integral part to form the ecosystems. Biological diversity represents this dynamic process spanning hundreds of millions of years, and has been the key to survival, sustainability and prosperity of those species and the ecosystems in which they flourish.
Human society has evolved in a process of adapting itself to such a diversified natural environment. Nature and natural resources have been the foundation of defining peoples’ life, their society and civilizations. Various forms of cultures and institutions in human society – political, religious, social or economic – have been built upon services provided by a unique natural environment and natural resources arising from biological diversity.
Cultural diversity mirrors biological diversity. It is the concern of many people that biodiversity must be appreciated in terms of human diversity, since different cultures and people from different walks of life perceive and apprehend biodiversity in different ways due to their distinct heritage and experiences.
Diversity in humanity and diversity in nature are inseparable. They are assets of peoples and our planet for prosperity for present and future generations. These are essential for achieving sustainable development. However, they are now in imminent danger owing to present-day human activities.

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