If life on this planet is to thrive we need to come both to an understanding of the changes occurring on a global scale, as well as an understanding that unsustainable human practices are the drivers of these changes. Global changes are visible, but the root causes may not be immediately apparent. The sources of global changes are rooted in patterns of land, freshwater and ocean use practices, for a variety of ends, but particularly for food production. These practices produces tangible impacts on abiotic and biotic resources and hence on the productivity of ecosystems and our food supply. Of those changes, the loss of biodiversity is both the most dramatic and the least appreciated. It is generally accepted that the current loss of ecosystems, species and gene pools is faster than any time since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Even greater losses are expected in the future if we continue our present unsustainable use of natural resources. What is not recognized is how much is at stake. The loss of biodiversity as a result of human actions has dire consequences for many critical constituents of well-being including material wealth, food security, health, and social relations. For much of the world the realization of the basic conditions of human well-being are but a dream. Hundreds of millions are hungry, suffer the effects of preventable diseases and do not have the opportunity to live their lives to the full. For this reason, the international community agreed to achieve by the year 2015 a number of essential development goals. These goals, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), address a variety of development, equity and environmental issues. Achieving many of these goals requires the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of these resources. Biodiversity contributes to MDGs related to eradication of poverty and hunger, improved health and environmental sustainability. It contributes to increase agricultural productivity in a way that it contributes to ecosystem health. It also contributes to dietary diversity and the conservation of food cultures which in turn has a positive impact on agricultural productivity and human health.Biodiversity plays a fundamental role in the provision of medicines to people around the world. A number of ecosystem services upon which we rely are crucial to human health. Medicines derived from animals, plants and microorganisms represent an important element of primary health care for most of the world particularly the poorest. Billions of people of the world depend partly or fully on products collected from ecosystems for medicinal purposes; the magnitude, distribution and direction of infectious diseases are influenced by ecosystem changes; and, ecosystems provide a means to cleanse the environment of wastes and pollutants. In 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity emerged from the Rio Summit as a comprehensive framework for action to reverse the tide of destruction of biodiversity as the biological foundation on which all human societies depend. In 2002, the Governments at the Word Summit on Sustainable Development committed themselves to reduce substantively the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. The Convention sets out broad commitments by Governments to take action at the national and international levels for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and, the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. It has already resulted in a number of achievements but progress in implementation still requires additional financial resources, technology transfer, better integration of biodiversity priorities in sectoral and cross-sectoral policies particularly economic and trade policies and effective coordination among multilateral agreements at the national and international level.