International Day for Biological Diversity, 22nd May


UN leaders marking the International Day for Biological Diversity are challenging the international community to promote ecosystem-based solutions that simultaneously tackle biodiversity loss, climate change, and land degradation, and biodiversity mainstream in economic sectors.

In its first online-only campaign, this International Day focused on the theme, “Our solutions are in nature. ‘ 

The Progress to the Day, celebrated annually on May 22, focuses on science and traditional knowledge as a way to understand the drivers of biodiversity loss and paths for a sustainable future, and links between biodiversity, climate and land.

The year 2020 is important for international biodiversity policy for a number of reasons. The goals in the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan on Biodiversity and its 20 Aichi targets for Aichi biodiversity were set to be achieved by the end of the year. In addition, the 2011-2020 UN Decade on Biodiversity is coming to a close. Reflections on these experiences feed into the planning for the “post-2020” global framework for biodiversity, which will provide a vision of 2050 for biodiversity. Negotiations on a new framework are underway. Leaders from all over the world are expected to focus on this framework at the UN Biodiversity Summit, in September. The new framework is scheduled to be adopted at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. While the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed some of these preparations and pushed them into 2021, the celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity is intended to quickly reflect on the importance of collaborating at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature.

In a video message that marks the Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres noted that “COVID-19 – emerging from the wild – has shown how human health is intimately linked to our relationship to the natural world.” He stressed the need to work together to preserve biodiversity to reach the SDGs, because we are “trying to better recover from the current crisis.” 

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, acting executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, emphasizes that biodiversity remains the answer to challenges for sustainable development and the basis for a sustainable future. She highlighted the need to build a resilient and sustainable world economy that encompasses nature and honest parts of its benefits. Citizens24Seven

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