What is biodiversity and why does it matter?

Biodiversity describes the rich diversity of life on Earth, from individual species to entire ecosystems. The term was coined in 1985 – a contraction of “biological diversity” – but the huge global biodiversity losses now becoming apparent represent a crisis equalling and quite possibly surpassing climate change. Deforestation, poaching, industrial farming and pollution are some of the ways in which the planet's natural ecosystem is being disrupted – with devastating results. This series will look at the myriad ways that human activity has ravaged biodiversity, and how we can fight back.