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Biodiversity simply refers to all life forms that exist and the environment in which they live as an interconnected system. All plants and animals contribute to our planet's biodiversity with each individual species playing its own unique part.

The property, construction and infrastructure industry can impact biodiversity both directly and indirectly. 

Construction and the increased modernisation of our lives have harmed biodiversity; the pressures of urban growth place an ever-increasing demand on natural resources in urban areas. Halting biodiversity loss is a huge challenge, particularly considering climate change and increasing climate extremes, which will exacerbate many of the adverse drivers.

All development has some impact on biodiversity, and yet biodiversity is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems which provide us with products and services without which we cannot live. Food, fresh water, fertile soil, medicines, shelter, protection from storms and floods, stable climate and recreation - all have their source in nature and healthy ecosystems.

Australia’s BiodiversityConservation Strategy 2010 – 2030 emphasises that the natural world, its biodiversity and its constituent ecosystems are critically important to our well-being and economic prosperity, but are persistently declining and consistently undervalued in decision making.

Biodiversity is protected in Australia by both national and international legislation. State and Territory planning authorities require that biodiversity is considered during the planning stage and that appropriate measures are taken to avoid negative effects on local biodiversity during construction or operation of a business. 

Businesses can promote biodiversity conservation and increase their reputation as a sustainable company by incorporating initiatives such as are suggested within the Green Star and the ISCA IS rating tools at the design and planning stages of development.

It is not only new developments that can be enhanced for biodiversity. Existing landscaped/revegetation areas, buildings and structures can be enhanced to make them more interesting for wildlife. By incorporating planting and management regimes, green roofs, green walls and other ecological features, many spaces can be improved for wildlife.