Living in harmony with nature – International Day for Biological Diversity – 22 May 2012
Video Message from Mr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, on the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity
Biological diversity – or biodiversity – is the term given to the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms. Read more by clicking here.
The Earth’s biological resources are vital to humanity’s economic and social development. As a result, there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to present and future generations. At the same time, the threat to species and ecosystems has never been so great as it is today. Species extinction caused by human activities continues at an alarming rate. You can read information about what the Convention on Biological Diversity is, at the web page below.
The Convention parties are signatory to a number of international Protocols and are members of a number of Convention bodies. For example, the Conference of the Parties (COP) is the governing body of the Convention, and advances implementation of the Convention through the decisions it takes at its periodic annual meetings.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) convenes the meetings of the COP and since 2002 has proclaimed May 22 of each year as “The International Day for Biological Diversity” (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The theme for this year is Marine Biodiversity.
More information about this year’s theme can be found at the website of the Convention on Biological Diversity – link given below. You can download the PDF booklet “Marine Biodiversity – One Ocean Many Worlds of Life” on the right of the page below, by right-clicking on the poster and then clicking on “Save Link As”. Alternatively, right-click on the word “En” (for English) below the picture of the poster.
Please note that the U.S.A. is NOT a member of the Convention, although Australia, where I live, IS a member / party to the Convention. The list of members is on the page below.
The Convention on Biological Diversity is an international legal instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, which to date, has received 168 signatures, but not including from the U.S.A. The full text of the Convention can be downloaded from the following page.
The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 agreed upon by the member countries at the 10th Conference of the Parties in October 2010 at Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, can be read online by clicking here. You can download a Word or a PDF copy by clicking on the link below, then scrolling down to Decision x/2 where you will see icons for a Microsoft Word document and for a PDF (Adobe Acrobat) document, and the letters – ar en es fr ru zh following. If you want to download the document in English, right-click on the “en” and click on “Save Link As” to save to your PC. The other letters represent the Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish languages.
You can find activities planned in your country for the International Day of Biodiversity by clicking on the link below. The USA is not officially celebrating the day, but if you are in the U.S.A please go ahead anyway and celebrate or honour the International Day of Biodiversity on 22nd May loudly and clearly. Just because your Government is not signatory to the Convention, doesn’t mean you cannot exercise your power of choice to raise awareness of and support of global and national biodiversity on your own terms.
Now that I have got that off my mind, I will conclude by saying two things.
First, if you are seriously dedicated to conserving the natural resources on Earth, and thus looking after your own self-preservation properly and the continuance of human beings (Homo sapiens) on Earth, I suggest that you really organise your resources, so you that you are aware of the international and national organisations around the globe that take positive steps toward looking after our environment. You can support them by educating others about them or by helping them financially or volunteering suitable services to them. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature is a good organisation that works to conserve biodiversity. You can read about them on this site by clicking here.
Secondly, David Suzuki, when asked by people “how can I personally myself help to look after the Earth”, replied that the time has come to act and think locally. I agree with this, but I add a qualifier so the whole answer follows –
“The time has come to act and think locally, while getting ideas and strength from conservation and environmental endeavours in other countries, and supporting them however you can, even if simply by emulating their philosophies and practices.
Thinking and acting locally even in the smallest ways, like recycling and minimising household waste DOES help and the more of it that is done by more people, then the MORE help it will give, so advocating a sustainable way of life to others is part of acting and thinking locally, while helping globally because all is interconnected.”
I will be adding names and websites of organisations that I believe ARE making an overall positive difference to Earth, to the “Help Life on Earth” page of this site, over time.
Mitakuye Oyasin – we are all related