Short form of the term "biological diversity" or "diversity of life". This can refer to both the genetic diversity within a population and the degree of species richness at a particular site (also habitat, region). The biodiversity of a region comprises four different levels (stages) of diversity. These are genetic diversity within a species, species diversity in an ecosystem, ecosystem diversity and functional biodiversity. In a broader sense, this refers to the entire diversity of species on earth.
The existence of a large number of different plant and animal organisms is the prerequisite for a stable ecosystem. The term biodiversity is mainly used in the media in connection with the threat to biodiversity posed by man and climate change, either through human influence or long-term natural climate changes. However, the term "species diversity" is often used as a synonym for the somewhat unwieldy term in German. The term has a great significance in organic-ecologically oriented agriculture and viticulture, which is taken into account by means of environmentally conscious pest control with protection of beneficial organisms and soil care.
However, the definition chosen in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has other meanings. The CBD is an international environmental treaty negotiated in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) at the United Nations (UN) Conference on Environment and Development. One of the principles of the CBD is the so-called "Access and Benefit Sharing", i.e. access to biological diversity and equitable sharing of benefits arising from its use. The conservation of biodiversity is seen as an indispensable component of a policy of sustainability. The Convention on Biological Diversity has now been signed by around 190 states and the European Union. The conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity is considered an important basis for human well-being. In 2010, the UN decided to declare the years 2011 to 2020 the UN Decade of Biodiversity.
In viticulture, biodiversity is also a prerequisite for the preservation of the biological balance and for the protection of the environment in the control of beneficial organisms. Preserving and promoting species diversity is an important goal in fertilization and plant protection, as is practiced to varying degrees in organic, biodynamic and bioenergetic viticulture and permaculture. For the principles and the different forms of production, see also Organic Viticulture.