Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is a concept that refers to the variety of life forms on Earth.
In addition to the number of species of flora and fauna that inhabit a given environment, the concept of biodiversity includes network relations that living beings establish on their territory and the environmental conditions around them.
In recent decades, society has become increasingly aware that man is no stranger to the future of the planet, showing themselves to be particularly sensitive to the continued loss of natural habitats and the extinction risk for numerous species of flora and fauna. Therefore, it imposes, for all sectors of society, the challenge of further improving the quality of life of the population without causing deterioration of biodiversity.
It is important to conserve natural ecosystems since they contribute to human beings the totality of natural resources needed for the functioning of its complex social and economic systems. The study performed internationally known as the "Millennium Ecosystems Assessment" explains the consequences of changes in ecosystems for human well-being because they provide us goods and services which society depends on, the so-called ecosystems services.
It refers to the variety of genes within a single species that allows populations to face natural selection, evolve and adapt to changes in their environment.
It is the meaning commonly associated with the concept of biodiversity and it is defined by the variety of species that relate to each other within the same ecosystem.
It refers to the variability of ecosystems on the planet that form the biosphere together.
Internationally, the importance of biodiversity was first recognized in the Convention of Biological Biodiversity (CBB). This treaty was signed by over 150 countries at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Years later, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 was approved in Nagoya (Japan), a ten-year framework of action for all countries and parties at the Convention to stop the loss of biodiversity and ensure its benefits to people.
At the European level, international commitments are reflected in the Habitats Directives (92/43/EC) and Birds Directive (2009/147/EC). These two directives are the source of the Natura 2000 network.
Nationally, in 2007, Law 42 of the Natural Heritage and Biodiversity was published. The experience gained during the years of the application of this law highlighted the need to improve certain aspects of its implementation, the reason for which it was modified for this purpose, especially in regards to the management of protected spaces. Law 33/2015 amends some articles and features in our legal system the main objectives of the European Union Strategy for biodiversity by 2020.