In order to operationalise the concept of biodiversity for biological variety, it has been applied at three levels: ecosystems, species and genetic diversity. In most cases the debate has been reduced to the aspect of the variety of species, ignoring the fact that the interactions are considerably more complex. In order to do justice to our responsibility for diversity, further efforts are needed, which could be subsumed under the heading “sustainable development”. At the moment, however, our ecological footprint is clearly too big. A strong focus must therefore be placed on such ecosystem services as fertility of the soil, carbon sequestration, maintenance of the hydrological balance, etc. That ultimately leads to economic arguments, which in turn will have massive impacts on current land use policies. Climate change and the increasing cultivation of biofuels are creating new effects, whose impacts on biodiversity were until recently unforeseeable. The underlying message must accordingly be that in the biodiversity debate we must focus on the landscape as such and an appropriate land use policy.

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