Scientists estimate that Belgium boasts some 55,000 species. That richness is incredible! Unfortunately, species are currently disappearing 1,000 to 10,000 faster than they would naturally do. Scientists deem that, by 2025, 20% of these species will have disappeared. By 2050, those losses could rise to 50%.
Biodiversity is a generic concept that is defined as the natural diversity of living organisms. It encompasses a complex of ecosystems, species and genes. These ecosystems and, more generally speaking, biodiversity provide numerous so-called "ecosystem services" that benefit man and other species. These for instance include the production of oxygen, pollination, biomass production, water purification, soil conservation, food production, etc. They have an ethical value (conservation of species), an ecological value (water quality, climate regulation, soil fertility, etc.), an economic value (production of food, medicines, raw materials, etc.) and an emotional value (well-being, culture, etc.). It is these services that make biodiversity so indispensable to the survival and well-being of man.
So, biodiversity is not just a matter for specialists who explore and study it; it is essentially our means of survival. In fact, from near or far, we are all implicated in its use, be it as a business, a farmer, scientist, industrialist, politician, or quite simply as a child or parent.