This is the IFF World Model. Roll over each of the factors, or use the navigation panel on the right hand side of the page, to investigate trends and discontinuities in each area. For more information on the model overall and how to use it visit the world model pages.
DescriptionThe biosphere includes all living organisms and is the highest level of biological organisation on Earth. Related to the biosphere is the concept of biodiversity or diversity of life. Humans are a part of the biosphere yet have, to a large extent, become buffered (and blinded) by culture and technology and are against the fact that our lives are fully dependent on the flow of services provided by the interconnected ecosystems that make up the biosphere. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Reports define four categories of ecological service which we entirely depend on to sustain human life: supporting services (such as soil & oxygen formation, nutrient cycling and primary production), provisioning services (like food, fibres and fresh water), regulating services that keep climate, air and water quality, as well as human and animal diseases, regulated in a way that enables life as we know it. We also benefit non-materially from ecosystems, through spiritual enrichment, cognitive development, reflection & recreation. These less tangible dependencies, which are also essential to human wellbeing, are known as cultural services. Despite the web of interconnections between humans and the rest of the biosphere, we are the greatest factor in reducing biodiversity.