Biodiversity (short for biological diversity) means the total variety of life. It includes the variety of habitats, species and genes. As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UK is committed to conserving and enhancing biodiversity and has set out objectives, priorities and targets in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP).
Forestry aims to contribute towards the aims and targets of the UK BAP:
- To conserve and where practical enhance overall populations and natural ranges of native species and the quality and range of wildlife habitats and ecosystems within woodlands.
- To help conserve and enhance internationally and nationally important and threatened species, habitats and ecosystems and of natural and managed habitats which are characteristic of local areas.
- To increase public awareness and involvement with woodland biodiversity conservation.
Abundance of animal species and diversity of plant species that depend wholly or partly on woodland are important components of biodiversity.