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In the context of IPBES, refers to the natural world with an emphasis on its living components. Within the context of western science, it includes categories such as biodiversity, ecosystems (both structure and functioning), evolution, the biosphere, humankind’s shared evolutionary heritage, and biocultural diversity. Within the context of other knowledge systems, it includes categories such as Mother Earth and systems of life, and it is often viewed as inextricably linked to humans, not as a separate entity (see Mother Earth).

Glossary term