Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona

Surprise 7: Island of Biodiversity in Catalonia

The NAT Venues Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona Surprise 7: Island of Biodiversity in Catalonia

This new exhibition space (Island) within the Museum’s permanent exhibition is entirely devoted to biodiversity in Catalonia.

The term biodiversity has been used since the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit (“Rio Summit”) to define the variability of life forms in terrestrial, marine and freshwater systems. Scientists have described almost a 1.5 million species in the world, but they are aware that there are many more as yet unknown.

Catalonia is a particularly diverse region, both because of its location in the Mediterranean region and its great variety of climates and land relief. That means 680 different habitats have been described, with approximately 15,000 species of flora and 18,000 of fauna. This wealth of species per land area unit is much greater than in any other European country. We have the responsibility of preserving this unique heritage.

This tremendous wealth forms the basis of the natural systems, ecological processes, life on the planet and habitats that surround us. Beyond the importance of biodiversity in itself, it has been known for decades that it provides a huge quantity of services and benefits for people: food, clean air, drinking water, medicines, areas for leisure, sport or contemplation, and many other things.

And we also know that our model of society is causing a drastic and rapid loss of biodiversity, which is being decimated by climate change, pollution, over-exploitation of natural resources and the destruction of natural habitats. This irreversible loss is leading to extremely negative consequences for our health and our quality of life. It is time to act immediately to stop the loss of biodiversity and overturn the current degradation of the environment. Each person has to make their own contribution.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This exhibition space consists of three parts. The first explains what biodiversity is, what its components are, why there are so many species and the importance of this wealth of life. The second part focuses on biodiversity in Catalonia through various large-format projections showing the diversity of species, habitats and landscapes in this country. Finally, the third part concerns the serious problem of the loss of biodiversity, its causes, and the effects on the planet and our quality of life, to end with a call for urgent, radical action by everyone to overturn this unsustainable situation.