Biodiversity thus goes far beyond species diversity and biodiversity conservation takes in far more than protecting species. With its multifaceted richness, biodiversity represents quality of life for people and lays the foundation for human survival. Animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms ensure clean drinking water, fresh air, a temperate climate and fertile soils in which to grow healthy food.
Human activity has influenced biodiversity for thousands of years, and for the past several decades with increasingly negative effects. The exploitation of nature and the environment for infrastructure, deforestation, overfishing and industrialised, intensive farming increasingly causes the destruction of natural habitats. Biodiversity is also at risk from the effects of climate change and rapidly altering environmental conditions.