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International Day for Biological Diversity

May 22 is the date declared by the United Nations to celebrate The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to promote the understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. But, do you know the actual data about the global biological diversity?

Understanding the context

The term biodiversity (from “biological diversity”) refers to the variety of life on Earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that sustain life. Therefore, we can definitely affirm that biodiversity is the living fabric of our planet.

To increase the understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues, in late 1993, on December 29, the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly designated The International Day for Biological Diversity. However, in December 2000, the UN General Assembly decides to celebrate the date on May 22, 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.

Biodiversity is a common good, an invaluable legacy formed over the course of millions of years, and capital to transmit to future generations. [...]This International Day aims to raise awareness of these issues that are crucial to our lives today and in the future. On this Day, a beautiful American Indian proverb is particularly fitting: “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of the International Day for Biological Diversity.

Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health

This year, the theme of the International Day for Biological Diversity is focused on biodiversity as the foundation for our food and health and a key catalyst for transforming food systems and improving human health. In accordance with the Convention on Biological Diversity, “The theme aims to leverage knowledge and spread awareness of the dependency of our food systems, nutrition, and health on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. The theme also celebrates the diversity provided by our natural systems for human existence and well-being on Earth, while contributing to other Sustainable Development Goals, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, ecosystems restoration, cleaner water and zero hunger, among others”.

Here are some important data to be reminded about the last 100 years…

  • More than 90 per cent of crop varieties has disappeared from farmers’ fields
  • Half of the breeds of many domestic animals have been lost
  • All of the world’s 17 main fishing grounds are now being fished at or above their sustainable limits
  • Locally-varied food production systems are under threat, including related indigenous, traditional and local knowledge
  • Agrobiodiversity is disappearing, and also essential knowledge of traditional medicine and local foods
  • The loss of diverse diets is directly linked to diseases or health risk factors, such as diabetes, obesity and malnutrition, and has a direct impact on the availability of traditional medicines

Watch the video and understand more about the date and the importance to promote the understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues:


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