Pretty diverse

Biodiversity is a basic foundation of our lives. A high level of biodiversity makes ecosystems resilient against harmful influences such as climate change. And yet humankind is making huge interventions in nature – with dramatic consequences. There is reason for hope, however, but only if we completely revise our way of thinking and change course. Here is an overview of the facts and figures.


Around three quarters of the world’s most biodiverse areas are in developing countries and emerging economies, most of them in the tropics and subtropics. These countries include Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which all have large areas of rainforest.

Source: BMZ


No one knows exactly how many different species there are in the world, but scientists currently estimate that there are around 15 million. Most of these have never been seen, and only a fraction of them – approximately 1.8 million, most of which are insects – are known and have been described. And only around 150,000 species have been examined to establish whether they are endangered.

Sources: BMUV, IUCN


One in eight species is under threat of extinction. The reasons include the overuse of land, deforestation, extraction of raw materials, densely settled landscapes and climate change. Species loss is now occurring up to 100 times faster than in the past 10 million years.

Source: IPBES


Forests are fantastic havens of biodiversity and as natural CO2 reservoirs they are also key factors in climate protection. They cover more than 30 per cent of the Earth’s land mass and secure the livelihoods of around 1.6 billion people across the globe.

Sources: FAO, BMZ


Birds react sensitively to change and are regarded as an important indicator of a region’s environmental conditions. In the EU, the rate at which birds are being lost has slowed in recent years and the numbers have started to stabilise. The number of common forest bird species even recovered slightly between 2000 and 2020.

Source: eurostat


Half of all coral reefs are regarded as lost, and they are set to decrease to a mere 10 per cent by 2050. The Nature Conservancy is sending a clear signal to fight this trend. The NGO has joined forces with the local population to save a dying coral reef covering a total area of 40,000 m2 off the coast of Indonesia – the restored coral spells out the word ‘hope’ in giant letters.

Sources: IPBES, The Nature Conservancy