Conservation of biodiversity
Biological diversity (biodiversity) as defined by UNESCO refers to the diversity of ecosystems, species and genes and the ecological processes that support them. Biodiversity is seen to embody concepts not only of the variety of life, but additionally of the importance of that variety, of the crisis presented by its loss and of the need for conservation action.
The conservation of biodiversity requires knowledge of the variety of species and ecosystems (vegetation types), their distribution, abundance, sensitivity and conservation status. A management plan will address ways in which viable portions or populations can be conserved. Although well managed formal conservation areas are crucial for the conservation of biodiversity, informal conservation on private and communal land will also be important in achieving the objectives.
Conservation of ecosystem services
During the past two decades wide acceptance of the importance of ecosystem services for the well-being of mankind has developed, not only amongst conservationists but also amongst such groups as planners, agriculturists and economists. The maintenance of ecosystem services is dependent on biodiversity conservation but its management requires a totally different approach that requires involvement of all sectors of society.