Here are links to some authoritative, but accessible documents on the importance of biodiversity to society
The Ecosystem Services and the significance of biodiversity:
The Global Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was produced in 2006. This hugely influential report was commissioned by the United Nations Environment Program. It demonstrated the likely impact of biodiversity loss on the services provided by nature which underlie environmental health and human well-being; such as providing clean air, water, food and fiber protecting environments from flood and drought and mitigating against climate change.
The global state of biodiversity:
Global Biodiversity Outlook 3. The Global Biodiversity Outlook reports are the flagship publications of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Drawing on a range of information sources, GBO3 was produced for the 2010 10th meeting of the convention. Drawing on National Reports, biodiversity indicators information, scientific literature, and a study assessing biodiversity scenarios for the future it summarized the implications of the rate of biodiversity loss and the actions proposed by the convention.
Global Biodiversity Outlook 4.Biodiversity Outlook reports are the flagship publications of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Drawing on a range of information sources, GBO4 was produced for the 2014 12th meeting of the convention. Drawing on National Reports, biodiversity indicators information, scientific literature, and a study assessing biodiversity scenarios for the future it summarizes the implications of the rate of biodiversity loss and the actions proposed by the convention at the approach at the midway point for the delivery of the 2020 Aichi biodiversity targets.
The economic interpretation of ecosystem service impacts:
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature. This is the synthesis report of the TEEB study which looked at the economic implications of more than 5000 case peer-reviewed studies of human development and biodiversity impacts.It have provided major momentum towards more mainstream economic awareness and action to protecting natural capital. There are several sub-reports on the TEEB site including on biodiversity for business.
Biodiversity and business:
TEEB for Business: This is the first of a number of reports TEEB has focused towards business and enterprise – given the huge significance of private sector activity on nature and how businesses can operate more economically and sustainably if they take biodiversity into account. There is now a growing TEEB for Business coalition aiming to bring the Ecosystem Service approach into mainstream business thinking.
Biodiversity in urban and city environments
City Biodiversity Outlook 1: This report was produced by the Stockholm Center for Resilience on behalf of the CBD. It was released in 2012 at the CBD COP11 Convention in Hyderabad, India. It highlights how by 2050, the world will have undergone the largest and fastest period of urban expansion in human history, having significant implications for biodiversity and ecosystems if current trends continue. Perhaps 60 percent of the land projected to become urban by 2030 has yet to be built and the CBO3 highlight that this presents a major opportunity to greatly improve global sustainability by promoting low-carbon, resource-efficient urban development. It recognizes the significance of biodiversity in cities and its huge potential to provide significant services to improve both environmental and human health, wealth and well-being.
Urbanisation, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities is an academic synthesis report, led by the Stockholm Resilience Center, it builds on and compliments the CBO1. In its forward Pavan Sukhdev highlights the role of people in environmental change and biodiversity loss. In its introductory chapter the lead authors highlight how it is no-longer possible to construct a sound ecological science without explicit attention to urbanization as a key driver of global ecological change and of the imperative of reconnecting cities to the biosphere.