What is biodiversity?

Why is biodiversity important? 

Biodiversity makes the wild work.

An ecosystem is healthier the more biodiverse it is. An ecosystem with a rich diversity of life is more resilient and stable, better able to adapt to environmental changes. An Earth with more biodiversity is a healthier Earth. A more resilient Earth.

It is an Earth that can fight climate change and take care of itself.

Plants, animals, fungi, microorganisms — and people, too.

Every living thing has an important role to play in its respective ecosystem. Every piece contributes to the whole. Even ecosystems themselves, and the ecological processes within them, are part of biodiversity.

Biodiversity stabilizes our climate and our soils, cycles our water, and pollinates the food we eat.

When the wild is intact there are natural safeguards keeping viruses and other pathogens in check — sick animals die, and are consumed by predators, or develop natural immunity. When we and our livestock invade and disrupt habitats, or when we take sick animals out of their habitats, we put ourselves and the health of all the people on Earth at risk.

What does 'biodiversity' mean?

Word-nerds and scientists know that when you break the word ‘biodiversity’ down into its parts you get ‘bio’ (meaning life) and ‘diversity’ (meaning different or containing a variety). At a pure word level, biodiversity literally refers to the variety of life on Earth. It is also a missing link in the climate conversation.

Learn More

Our Impact

Re:wild works with 500+ partners in more than 80 countries to create real-world impact.

Key Biodiversity Areas

Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are the most important places in the world for species and their habitats. Re:wild is part of the Key Biodiversity Area Partnership.

What do animals have to do with the carbon cycle?

Everything. An ecosystem teeming with life and biodiversity sequesters more carbon than an ecosystem without animals.


Biodiversity Hotspots

Biodiversity hotspots are wild places that are both:

  • a) home to a wealth of endemic species

  • b) threatened by human activities like habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change.

Scientists estimate that half of all plant and vertebrate species are found ONLY within these hotspots.

Protecting biodiversity hotspots is critical to achieving results in conservation. Re:wild works in regions where biodiversity hotspots have been identified.

Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs)

Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are the most important places in the world for species and their habitats. The Key Biodiversity Area Partnership — an ambitious partnership of 13 global conservation organizations, including Re:wild — is helping prevent the rapid loss of biodiversity by identifying these places on Earth that are critical for the survival of unique plants and animals.

KBAs are identified at a more precise scale than both Biodiversity Hotspots and High Biodiversity Wilderness Areas. As founding partners of the KBA Partnership, Re:wild aims to ensure that all 16,000 KBAs, especially the 8,000 within Biodiversity Hotspots and High Biodiversity Wilderness Areas, are effectively safeguarded and restored by working in collaboration with our partners.

High Biodiversity Wilderness Areas (HBWAs)

Different from Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and Biodiversity Hotspots, High Biodiversity Wilderness Areas (HBWAs) are vast wilderness areas (more than 1 million hectares) where at least 70% of the original vegetation and biodiversity remains intact. The identification and description of HBWAs where they exist is proactive conservation in action — these wilderness areas are examples of the wild mostly intact, and need to be safeguarded to ensure they do not lose their HBWA status.

Five HBWAs have been identified. They are:

  • Amazon Basin

  • Congo Basin

  • New Guinea, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea

  • North American Deserts, Southwest United States and Mexico

  • Miombo-Mopane Woodlands and Savannas, Zambia