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Biodiversity, the uncounted variety among living things on the planet, supply food, medicines, timber and fuel, and play a fundamental role in providing breathable air, fertile soils and in stabilizing climates.

An estimated 40 per cent of the global economy is based on biological products and processes, with Canada’s own economic well-being intrinsically reliant on the services provided by biodiversity and natural ecosystems. An important component of Canada’s wealth is in its variety of genes, species and ecosystems and the ecological processes that allow them to evolve and adapt to a changing world. For instance, genetic diversity is nature’s insurance policy as it assures ecological resilience and creates options for future innovation. Biodiversity is a fundamental part of the solution in ensuring clean water, protection from pests and disease outbreaks; and in providing varieties in prescription drugs and in traditional medicines.

Environment Canada manages the implementation of several multilateral and bilateral agreements, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Canada-U.S. Convention for the Protection of Migratory Birds. Biodiversity plays an important role in food security and combating poverty in many countries.

Issues of biodiversity and nature are highly linked, and thus cut across many forums and organizations. Canada is an active player internationally to ensure our views on protecting and enhancing biodiversity are integrated into international agreements and activities of international organizations that significantly affect our prosperity, society and natural environment.  

For further information on Environment Canada's work on biodiversity, please go to Biodiversity under the Nature section.