What is biodiversity? Why is biodiversity important? What are the benefits of biodiversity? What can we do to save and increase the biodiversity in our campus, home, or even the world? The Green Office Wageningen is focusing on this topic this spring and summer to increase the awareness of biodiversity-related issues among students and staff and stimulate action to preserve and increase biodiversity in life. 

What is biodiversity? 

Biodiversity is a different kind of life in a defined area. It could be in a patch of grass in your garden or a forest in a tropical area. Biodiversity includes all types of plants and animals, seen and unseen by our naked eye. It is much more than the flowers and butterflies we see in our garden. It is also fungi and microorganisms that make up our world. 

Biodiversity around the globe is under threat. Primarily because of our actions. We wiped out the forest and displaced and killed many native animals. Billions of individual populations have been lost all over the planet. 

Black: The historical biodiversity loss curve before 2010 Green: with effort through more sustainable production and consumption Orange: without more sustainable production and consumption Grey: if we continue on our current path.

Why biodiversity is important

We live and breathe supported by biodiversity. The food we eat, the clean water we drink, the medicine we consume, and the house we live in is all thanks to biodiversity.  For example, various delicious food we eat is a direct benefit of the biodiversity of nature. Imagine if the potato is suddenly gone. What will happen to people depending on it as a source of their food and feed?

Biodiversity is more than just ecosystem services. There is an intangible value to biodiversity. Ingenuous people worldwide consecrated some areas in their forest that have deep spiritual meaning for them. According to various research, most people feel better and more productive in a green environment. This is only the tip of the iceberg of the benefits of biodiversity.

What can we do?

There are many things we can do, from something as convenient and easy as planting more diverse plants in our garden to more complex aspects such as protecting the rainforest from greedy individuals. The good thing is everyone can participate based on their capabilities. Individually, we can start by increasing our awareness and knowledge about the issue. We can also do individual or group actions such as increasing biodiversity in our garden by planting various trees and flowers to support local biodiversity, such as wild bees and insects. 

Building a bee hotel (source: Team 37)

Here at the Green Office, we prepare some activities to increase your awareness about biodiversity and help you to take action. Check out the poster below to know more.