Saturday, May 22, 2021
The International Day for Biological Diversity aims to create awareness and public education regarding the tremendous value of biological diversity. The 2021 theme is “We’re part of the solution”. The slogan is a continuation of the last year theme “Our solutions are in nature”, which served as a reminder that biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges. [United Nations]
“As we encroach on nature and deplete vital habitats, increasing numbers of species are at risk.
That includes humanity and the future we want.”
(UN Secretary-General António Guterres)
As the global community is called to re-examine our relationship to the natural world, one thing is certain: despite all our technological advances we are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter and energy, just to name a few. This year 2021 the theme is “We’re part of the solution”. The slogan was chosen to be a continuation of the momentum generated last year under the over-arching theme, “Our solutions are in nature”, which served as a reminder that biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges.
From nature-based solutions to climate, health issues, food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build back better. That is the main message from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), key international instrument for sustainable development. You can find in its website promotional materials for your own campaign!
Biodiversity will have more events to celebrate this 2021. The fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15, October 2021) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will review the achievement and delivery of the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. It is also anticipated that the final decision on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework will be taken. This new framework has included a focus on ensuring work to preserve biodiversity contributes to “the nutrition, food security, and livelihoods of people, especially for the most vulnerable.”
Beside, the efforts for a sustainable biodiversity will be represented in two new decades for the period 2021-2030: the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
Biological diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms, but it also includes genetic differences within each species — for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock — and the variety of ecosystems (lakes, forest, deserts, agricultural landscapes) that host multiple kind of interactions among their members (humans, plants, animals).
Biological diversity resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about 3 billion people. Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant‐based medicines for basic healthcare.
But loss of biodiversity threatens all, including our health. It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonoses - diseases transmitted from animals to humans - while, on the other hand, if we keep biodiversity intact, it offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses.
While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities. Given the importance of public education and awareness about this issue, the UN decided to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity annually.