Biodiversity Web Sites

Searching for “biodiversity” on the web produces an overwhelming amount of hits. While wetland, marine and coastal habitats, and forests are well represented, it seems that mountain ecosystems receive little attention. Some recent initiatives have been taken to preserve biodiversity in mountain environments and promote activities focusing on sustainable development and conservation. The following web sites were chosen because of their significance or the originality of their approach. The list makes no claim to comprehensiveness. It can be accessed via MRD's web site,


‘Mountain biodiversity at risk’ The IDRC Briefing No. 2 is an introductory electronic paper on the role of mountain biodiversity for development and on current risks of loss of biological diversity.

Mountain Forum (MF) Several electronic papers on biodiversity are available in the MF library. MF also has a site in Spanish,

Mountain biodiversity at ICIMOD A section especially devoted to mountain biodiversity in the Hindu Kush Himalayas. (Information on plant diversity and articles on local agrobiodiversity).

Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge NGO based in Kunming for “Conserving Nature and Culture, and Promoting Socially Equitable and Environmentally Sound Development In Mountain Ethnic Minority Areas of Southwest China.”

Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, Costa Rica (INBio) INBio generates knowledge about Costa Rica's biodiversity. It disseminates information in many formats designed to address national and international users. The site could be a model for other country-specific web sites on biodiversity. (Contains very informative databases, ie, Unidades Básicas de Informacíon,

Local Initiative for Biodiversity, Research and Development LI-BIRD Nonprofit organization committed to local initiatives for sustainable management of renewable natural resources and to improving people's livelihoods in Nepal. (Information about on-going and completed projects.)

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Official web site of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Not specifically on mountains but fundamentally relevant.

World Resources Institute, Biodiversity Interesting approach: biological diversity is considered within the context of cultural and ecosystem diversity. (Information on the causes of biodiversity loss and opportunities to prevent biological impoverishment. Not specifically on mountains.)

Global Biodiversity Forum (GBF) An independent and open mechanism to analyze and discuss priority ecological, economic, institutional, and social issues related to biodiversity conservation and sustainable and equitable biological resource use. Provides a multistakeholder forum to support and enhance the objectives of CBD and other biodiversity-related instruments at the national and international levels. (Contains documents of the sessions and workshops since 1993. Not specifically on mountains.)


Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute, Colombia The Institute aims to promote, coordinate, and carry out research that contributes to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in Colombia. (Information about projects, lists of endangered species.)

Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA) GMBA aims to synthesize available evidence and initiate new research activities with a comparative focus. After the inaugural GBMA conference in September 2000, this web site will be continually updated.

DIVERSITAS The only existing umbrella program to coordinate a broad research effort in the biodiversity sciences at the global level. DIVERSITAS launched GMBA and IBOY (International Biodiversity Observation Year 2001–2002,

Sites With Further Resources

IISD's selected web resources on biodiversity

BIN21 Biodiversity Information Network

Biodiversity Conservation Information System (BCIS) A joint initiative of IUCN, WCMC, and others. Includes access to BIOSEEK, a biodiversity search engine.

Virtual Library on Biodiversity and Ecology Specializes on reviewing internet information sources pertaining to ecology and biodiversity based on their educational value.

[1] Compiled by Susanne Wymann von Dach, Assistant Editor, MRD, with the kind cooperation of Mountain Forum staff and members and Jelle Maas, The Tropenbos Foundation, Wageningen.

"Review of Web Sites, CD ROMs, Books," Mountain Research and Development 20(3), 287, (1 August 2000).[0287:]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 August 2000
Back to Top