The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) defines a protected area as “a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values”
Biodiversity is the variability among all living organisms, from the microscopic to the visible, and the ecological network of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. This interdependence of all living things, including humans, supports life on earth. Human well-being and the survival of all species are intimately linked to healthy ecosystems. Every species in decline demonstrates how important the links of biodiversity and the ecosystems that sustain us are.
Protection of habitats must be permanent and have in place control mechanisms to prevent unnatural development. Healthy habitats support biodiversity by allowing plants and animals of many species a place to live, breed and interact in areas specific to their requirements. Preserving national and global biodiversity is recognized as an important international goal for the 21st century. Effective management of important habitat can be achieved through public ownership or private conservation, but includes measuring results of any management practices and finding ways to create natural corridors and habitat for species at risk.