This chapter focuses on the particular role science has played in reconfiguring biodiversity conservation as a relevant parameter for economic development and human well-being. It examines the historical, conceptual and institutional conditions of the emergence of "biodiversity" as a global environmental concern and a policy issue. The chapter discusses the hegemonic patterns and trends visible in the politics of conservation of the 21st century. It describes the global political economy of biodiversity has three dimensions which are interrelated and particularly relevant for understanding current dynamics in international biodiversity politics. The chapter examines the parallel development of an international landscape of multilateral environmental agreements and related negotiation settings, which have been created, designed and strategically used by nation states to govern biodiversity at a global scale and within the United Nations framework. Biodiversity loss goes beyond what is broadly understood as an increase in "endangered species", often represented by the decimation of charismatic mammals such as tigers, elephants, lions, and rhinos.