Biodiversity is, literally, the variety of life on earth. It embraces all living plants and animals (including mankind), their genetic variation and the ecosystems on which they depend. Biodiversity is everywhere: in gardens, fields, hedgerows, mountains, rivers and in the sea. Biodiversity represents quality of life. It gives pleasure, interest and an appreciation of our natural environment.
As well as its own intrinsic value, biodiversity can be of great economic importance, providing food, materials and medicines, as tropical rain forests continue to demonstrate.
At a local level, biodiversity greatly influences the character of our landscape. Carmarthenshire is justly renowned for its magnificent coast, quiet estuaries, steep wooded valleys and rugged uplands. Throughout much of the rest of the county there is a patchwork of woodlands and fields, bounded by the hedge-banks that are frequently of historic importance. The sea and seabed around the Carmarthenshire coast are also rich in species, some of which are of considerable economic importance.
This natural beauty of the county is a major factor on which the local tourism and recreation industries depend. Biodiversity is therefore fundamental to the physical, economic and spiritual well-being of all who live and work in Carmarthenshire.