, Volume 3, Issue 1-2, pp 1-2
Date: 10 Aug 2004


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In 1992 the notion “biodiversity” was settled under international law in the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). It entered into the public conscience thanks to the intense media coverage of the so-called “world summit” in Rio de Janeiro which suggested a sound scientific concept behind it. However, at that time the concept of biodiversity had already appeared in the scientific literature and was discussed controversially. Some of the disputants believed that biodiversity was supposed to be a merely political catchword, which worked predominantly in the context of scientific fundraising. In contrast, the other views emphasised the integrative aspect of the concepts, which seemed to bring together biological descriptions of living entities and their environmental relationships from different scientific sources, such as population-genetics, evolutionary theory, ecology and genetics.

The introduction and establishment of the (putative) biological term “biodiversity” was catalysed mai ...