In 1993 the United Nations proclaimed May 22 the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The aim of the day is to promote the need for preservation of our planet, and in this context to make sure that the biodiversity that populates it remains just that, diverse.
The loss of too many species potentially destroys the fragile system that keeps our planet healthy and functional. That's why the Convention on Biological Diversity was created as an internationally legally binding treaty. The three main goals of the Convention are:
- conservation of biological diversity,
- sustainable use of its components and ,
- fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.
This years theme for the IDB is Water and Biodiversity which was chosen to coincide with the United Nations designation of 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation:
Water sustains all life on Earth. It is vital for all people and ultimately determines our way of life. Providing and sustaining water for the needs of people around the world is already well recognized as a major challenge for sustainable development in most areas in both developed and developing countries. The ecosystems of our world, but particularly forests and wetlands, ensure that clean water is available to human communities. Water in turn underpins all ecosystem services.
Wetlands can help reduce risks from flooding. Restoring soils can reduce erosion and pollution and can increase water available for crops. Protected areas can assist in providing water to cities. These are but a few examples of how ecosystem management can help us solve water-related problems.
Education and public awareness represent a substantial part of the Convention and events such as Biodiversity Day, awareness of global issues and concerns can be raised. It is a good opportunity to educate the general public on things that can be done to rectify or reduce these issues. If you want to know what is going on in your country on this day have a look at this page.