What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity is short for "biological diversity", the variety of life on earth. It includes all living organisms and the ecosystems in which they occur. Abundance and diversity of ecosystems, species, and genes and the interactions between them are a key part of biodiversity. Together they create an intricate balance that ensures the continuance of life in the natural world and the provision of oxygen, fresh water and a wide variety of natural resources that are essential for us.