The Church of England was partner in the UN's International Year of Biodiversity (2010) through its Shrinking the Footprint campaign and continues to work actively with the CofE's more than 10,000 churchyards and other areas of biodiversity.
What is biodiversity?
This is a technical term for the variety of life on Earth. It refers not just to the diversity of species of plants, animals, fungi, bacteria etc, but also to the variety within any one species and to the various ways species live together in ecosystems. Often there is a sense that what is to be preserved is the genetic diversity so that future generations can draw on this as a resource, eg for new drugs or resistence to pests in crop plants. However, many people feel delight in the diversity itself and want to preserve it for its own sake.
Why is it important to Christians?
The accounts of the Creation in the early chapters of Genesis emphasise the delight God takes in his Creation. More specifically in Genesis 2.15 Adam is instructed to 'till and care for' the earth and many modern interpreters take this in a strong sense that we are accountable to God for the care we take over our fellow creatures and our shared world.