Biodiversity is described simply as the variety of life. It includes diversity among species (e.g., plants, animals), genes (the differences within species that you may observe through colour variations among a species, for example) and ecosystems (different forest types, wetlands, prairies and grassland etc.). Throughout the world there is concern about the accelerating and alarming decline in biodiversity in recent decades. Because humans depend on biodiversity for food, shelter, medicines and other ecological services, and because our livelihoods and quality of life depend on healthy and diverse natural environments, biodiversity loss is regarded as one of our most significant problems.World attention to biodiversity loss resulted in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992. Canada responded to the convention by creating the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy (CBS, 1995) in partnership with the federal, provincial and territorial governments. The convention and the CBS address three common objectives:- the conservation of biodiversity;- the sustainable use of biological resources;- the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. Ontario committed to use the CBS as a guide to its actions in 1996 and has undertaken a number of initiatives including, but not limited to, creating new parks and protected areas, protecting species at risk, addressing the threat of invasive species, providing for the sustainable management of Ontario's forests, supporting stewardship on private lands and taking measures to conserve Ontario's fish and wildlife.In October 2004, the Minister of Natural Resources announced a new initiative to develop an Ontario Biodiversity Strategy (OBS). Recognizing that biodiversity conservation is a shared responsibility and the government alone is not in a position to safeguard Ontario's biodiversity, the Minister invited representatives of environmental, industry, aboriginal and other groups, as well as other levels of government to participate in the development of the OBS. This process resulted in this proposal for an Ontario Biodiversity Strategy. The proposed strategy contains the following elements:- The rationale for an Ontario Biodiversity Strategy;- A description of threats to Ontario's biodiversity;- A vision for the future including biodiversity goals and principles;- A discussion of opportunities for doing more for biodiversity;- A five year action plan (2005-2010) for addressing Ontario's biodiversity challenge;- An agenda for moving forward.This proposed Ontario Biodiversity Strategy may be viewed using the first web links listed at the bottom of this notice.