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The Importance of International Day for Biological Diversity, 22nd May

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As the world is urged to reconsider our connection to the natural environment, it is crucial to recognize that, despite our technological progress, we rely entirely on thriving and healthy ecosystems for essentials such as water, food, medicine, clothing, fuel, housing, and energy. This underscores the urgent need to honor, safeguard, and rehabilitate our biological diversity. The potential consequences of not acting to protect biodiversity are dire, threatening our very way of life and the future of our planet, invoking a sense of concern and responsibility in all of us.

In December 2022, a global initiative was established to redefine our interaction with nature. The adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, also known as The Biodiversity Plan, outlines specific objectives and actions to halt and reverse the decline of nature by 2050.

This year, the International Day for Biological Diversity is centered around the theme “Be part of the Plan”, a call to action for governments, indigenous communities, NGOs, legislators, businesses, and individuals to showcase their contributions to the implementation of the Biodiversity Plan. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) underscores that each one of us has a part to play and can be #PartOfThePlan. Your individual actions, no matter how small, can have a significant impact on biodiversity conservation.

This year’s celebration aims to generate momentum leading up to the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 16), scheduled to take place in Colombia from 21 October to 1 November 2024.

You can demonstrate your support for biodiversity through promotional materials for the Day, including a mock newspaper front page from 2030 depicting the extinction of blue whales, emphasizing the need to prevent such outcomes with a “Paris Agreement” on biodiversity. By familiarizing yourself with the Kunming-Montreal World Framework for Biological Diversity, which was approved in December and includes goals such as restoring 30% of ecosystems, cutting food waste in half, and investing at least $200 billion annually in biodiversity-benefiting strategies, all to be achieved by 2030, you can be inspired and motivated to take actions that can have a significant positive impact on biodiversity conservation.

Biological diversity, a global treasure, encompasses not only a wide range of plants, animals, and microorganisms but also genetic variances within each species and the diversity of ecosystems that support various interactions among their members. These resources are the foundation of human civilizations, providing essential resources such as animal protein, food, and traditional plant-based medicines to billions of people worldwide. However, the decline of biodiversity poses a threat to all, including public health. Studies have shown that biodiversity loss could lead to the proliferation of zoonotic diseases while safeguarding biodiversity offers effective tools to combat pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses. The global impact of biodiversity loss is a call to action for all of us.

Despite the growing acknowledgement of the immense value of biological diversity to future generations, human activities are significantly reducing the number of species. Recognizing the importance of public awareness and education on this issue, the UN established the International Day for Biological Diversity to be celebrated annually.

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