This sea snail, found just off the coast of Ischia, Italy, supports biodiversity! Barnacles, tube worms, algae, and bryozoans (tiny, tentacled invertebrates) thrive on the snail's shell.
Photograph by David Littschwager, National Geographic

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    On May 22, 2000, the world celebrated the first International Day for Biological Diversity. The date honors the day the first of 168 nations signed the Convention on Biological Diversity at the United Nations “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992.
    The Convention on Biological Diversity has seven major components, called “focal areas”:
    Each year, the UN chooses a theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity. In 2002, for instance, the theme focused on “Forest Biodiversity.” In 2018, the theme is “Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity.”
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    biodiversity Noun

    all the different kinds of living organisms within a given area.

    Encyclopedic Entry: biodiversity
    capacity Noun


    celebrate Verb

    to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.

    coral reef Noun

    rocky ocean features made up of millions of coral skeletons.

    developing world Noun

    nations with low per-capita income, little infrastructure, and a small middle class.

    ecosystem Noun

    community and interactions of living and nonliving things in an area.

    Encyclopedic Entry: ecosystem
    financial Adjective

    having to do with money.

    forest Noun

    ecosystem filled with trees and underbrush.

    fungi Plural Noun

    (singular: fungus) organisms that survive by decomposing and absorbing nutrients in organic material such as soil or dead organisms.

    genetic Adjective

    having to do with genes, inherited characteristics or heredity.

    innovation Noun

    something new.

    integrity Noun

    honor, or loyalty to moral and ethical principles.

    island Noun

    body of land surrounded by water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: island
    microbe Noun

    tiny organism, usually a bacterium.

    plankton Plural Noun

    (singular: plankton) microscopic aquatic organisms.

    summit Noun

    meeting or conference of top leaders.

    sustainable Adjective

    able to be continued at the same rate for a long period of time.

    United Nations Noun

    international organization that works for peace, security and cooperation.