An unequivocal, precise, and generally accepted definition of biodiversity does not exist. However the need for such a definition that is both scientifically sensible and universally applicable is imperative to help guide the design of policy and programs for the future, as well as to make critical decisions in the present. One of the many reasons for this state of affairs is that the definition of biodiversity affects objectives in national and regional research and conservation management, and in international funding priorities. Because so much is now formally invested in using the word biodiversity, its definition will continue to play a crucial role in both biodiversity conservation planning and public policy.
Encyclopedia of Biodiversity (Second Edition), 2013, Pages 399-410,