Today is a day to celebrate life! Today is International Day for Biological Diversity and this year’s focus is Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.
This is a huge theme central to the future of biodiversity and human wellbeing. We cannot continue to treat the loss of biodiversity as an issue separate from the core concerns of society. We will be much more likely to achieve objectives such as reducing poverty and improving the health, wealth and security of present and future generations if we give biodiversity and ecosystem services the priority they deserve.
Targets set to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss and the reduction of poverty have been missed in recent years. Further massive losses of biodiversity are increasingly likely, with inevitable consequences for human wellbeing, unless we act to address the underlying causes.
The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 as “The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB)” to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. When first created by the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly in late 1993, 29 December (the date of entry into force of the Convention of Biological Diversity), was designated The International Day for Biological Diversity. In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted 22 May as IDB, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity. This was partly done because it was difficult for many countries to plan and carry out suitable celebrations for the date of 29 December, given the number of holidays that coincide around that time of year.
This year’s theme reflects the importance of efforts made at all levels to establish a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda for the period of 2015-2030 and the relevance of biodiversity for the achievement of sustainable development.
The selection of the theme also underlines the adoption of the Gangwon Declaration, by ministers and participants to the High-level Segment of the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Gangwon Declaration welcomed the importance given to biodiversity in the outcome document of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals and called for the further integration and mainstreaming of biodiversity in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Today our urgent attention is focused on Europe where the laws that help biodiversity and sustainability are under threat. That’s why the BirdLife Partnership has joined together with more than 100 environmental organisations to mobilise the general public to tell the EU Commission that they want Europe’s nature laws to be maintained, better implemented and enforced.
The BirdLife International Partnership has an impressive track record of working locally, nationally and globally to create the environmental conditions for sustainable development. Working with communities, government, and across sectors in some of the world’s biologically most important places, BirdLife Partners are demonstrating that it is possible to bring about the changes required for living sustainably on our planet Earth.
On BirdLife’s datazone you can access case studies on biodiversity conservation and sustainability.