The continuing loss of biological diversity and its components, genes, species and ecosystems, is an issue of global concern. Research has shown that both the diversity and the identity of the various species have a fundamental influence on the magnitude and stability of the ecological processes that occur at the ecosystem level.
There are significant interrelationships between the degradation of ecosystems, the loss of animal and plant species, market globalisation, and poverty. Europe's high per capita consumption and waste production means that its impact on ecosystems is felt well beyond its own borders. Biodiversity loss is inextricably linked to the degradation of the ecosystem services described by the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.