Fast Facts: Biodiversity and Ecosystems
Human survival and wellbeing depend upon biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, and the goods and services they provide—such as food, medicines, crop pollination, filtration of pollutants, and protection from natural disasters. This contribution is neither fully recognized nor valued in markets. As a result, ecosystems, species and genes—the building blocks of biodiversity—are being degraded at an unparalleled pace as natural resources are being exploited without consideration for their broader ecosystem and economic values. The poor, especially in rural areas, face the most severe impacts of such changes as they directly depend on ecosystem goods and services for their survival and wellbeing.