When the subject of biological diversity research is being debated it is difficult for participants to agree on common meanings, aims, and objectives. Virtually every researcher has his or her own vision of the Biodiversity issue. Genes, species, habitats, ecosystems, landscapes provide different principles, concepts and definitions according to each researcher's background. Furthermore, if we want to focus the debate on the impact of biodiversity research on policies the scenario becomes yet more complex and there are even fewer common parameters, thus giving way more to intellectual chaos than synergy.
The modern idea of biodiversity as a scientific concept is less than twenty years old and, by definition, cannot be considered simply to be an aggregation of ancient pre-existing disciplines such as entomology, botany, soil science, plant physiology.
Globally speaking biological diversity means the variety of life on earth. The concept was consecrated at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), where its importance was universally recognized through the approval of the Convention on Biological Diversity . The concept of biodiversity is a "cosmogonic" concept. Its importance resides in its capacity to concentrate the attention of all parties concerned on the risk of its loss. At the same time it obliges States, Governments and in general all decision makers and the public to try to protect it through the global effort towards what is called "Sustainable Development".