The Importance of Biodiversity Conservation

Our planet is abundant with diverse ecosystems, from jungles to deserts, from the deep sea to the frozen tundra.

These ecosystems impact our planet and the unique life living in each, yet many of these environments are threatened and shrinking.

Greater Good Charities is committed to protecting key biodiversity hotspots facing imminent threat by providing the initial key step in conservation—the observation and recording of living species within an ecosystem.

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What is Biodiversity?

The term biodiversity refers to the variety of living things in an area, including animals, plants, fungi, microorganisms, humans, and more. Each species works together within its ecosystem to maintain balance and support life.


Why is Biodiversity Important?

Biodiversity is the glue that holds ecosystems together. Species and plants interact in complex ways to create balanced and resilient environments. This balance helps ecosystems function smoothly, providing our planet with human necessities like clean air, water, and fertile soil.

Why is Biodiversity at Risk?

Right now, species are going extinct at a faster rate than at any other point in history. According to World Wildlife Fund's 2022 Living Planet Report, the species population has declined by an average of 69% since 1970. The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List has more than 157,100 species on it, with more than 44,000 threatened with extinction.

NatureServe’s Biodiversity in Focus: United States Edition lists the main causes of biodiversity loss as habitat degradation, invasive species, dams, and climate change, all of which result from human activity.

How Does Habitat Restoration Impact Biodiversity?

By restoring habitats, the species that live there can thrive. This, in turn, allows more essential resources to grow, providing sustenance and a healthy environment for all the different types of species living in an ecosystem.

What is Greater Good Charities Doing to Protect Biodiversity?

Global Discovery Expeditions is a program of Greater Good Charities dedicated to exploring, studying, and protecting key biodiversity hotspots facing imminent threat and loss by observing and recording living species within an ecosystem. These observations are recorded in a public database for researchers, students, and scientists to use.

To date, our database has over 62,000 processed plant and animal records and continues to grow.

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Photo © Sky Jacobs
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Photo © Sue Carnahan
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Photo © Greater Good Charities

Global Discovery Expeditions is the expansion of Greater Good Charities' 10+-year study of the Madrean Archipelago, a series of unique ecosystems that range from New Mexico and Arizona to Sonora, Mexico. Greater Good Charities has surveyed 23 Sky Island sites within the Madrean Archipelago. 

In the summer of 2023, Global Discovery Expeditions expanded its footprint to Vietnam to study key ecosystems.

How Does Global Discovery Expeditions Work?

Throughout the year, groups of uniquely qualified and multinational scientists gather to observe and collect scientific data on a specific area’s native plants and animals.   

Vietnam is ranked 16th among the Earth’s most biodiverse countries. Over 10,000 terrestrial animals have been recorded there, including 74 reptile species listed as threatened with extinction. With each expedition, our team continues to build our collective knowledge of this special place and document ecological shifts from previous data collections.  

All data is then added to a public, all-species database, which can be used for current and future research, environmental education, and habitat protection.   

Each expedition makes roughly 1,000 observations of animals and plants. Scientists, conservationists, and universities worldwide use these records to protect biodiversity hotspots.

Your support helps Greater Good Charities document and restore the world around us.