International Day for Biological Diversity is an annual celebration that takes place on May 22 with the aim to throw light at biodiversity issues.
International Day for Biological Diversity is a United Nations-sanctioned day that aims to promote understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. This day is celebrated on May 22 each year since 2001. Biodiversity is the living fabric of our planet. UNESCO states that it underpins human well-being in the present and in the future, and its rapid decline threatens nature and people alike. To reverse this decline, it is important for people to take their roles, actions and relationships with biodiversity seriously. To better promote this event, let us participate in the International Day for Biological Diversity 2021 theme.
International Day for Biological Diversity 2021 Theme
The 2021 theme for International Day for Biological Diversity is “We’re part of the solution”. As per the Convention on Biological Diversity, the slogan was chosen to be a continuation of the momentum generated last year under the over-arching theme, “Our solutions are in nature”, which served as a reminder that biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges. From nature-based solutions to climate, health issues, food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build back better. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the CBD has announced that this occasion will be commemorated through an online-only campaign this year
International Day for Biodiversity : History & Singificance
In 1992, at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development which is also known as “The Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, state and government leaders agreed on a strategy for sustainable development. It is said that sustainable development is a way to meet the needs of the people around the world and it will ensure that planet Earth healthy for the future generation. In the Earth Summit, one of the most agreements was the Convention on Biological Diversity.
This Convention came into force on 29 December, 1993 and designated the International Day for Biological Diversity. From 2001, it was celebrated on 22 May. In 1992, the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted at a United Nations at a conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Each year, International Day for Biodiversity focuses on a particular theme and celebrate it accordingly.
International Day for Biological Diversity Celebration
On this day, in the whole world, various events are organised to make people understand the importance of biodiversity and what role it plays for the future. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity organises celebrations every year which forms the part of the United Nations Environmental Programme. Several national governments and non-governmental organisations also participate in the celebrations. Activities that took place are:
– Various booklets, leaflets and other educational resources are translated into local languages.
– A lot of information is distributed on biodiversity via schools, colleges, universities, newspapers, radio and television.
– Movies are also shown on environmental issues.
– Exhibitions and seminars are also organised for students, professionals and also for the general public.
– Several programs are presented which focus on how to preserve endangered species or habitats.
– Planting trees and other plants at several places that help to prevent erosion.
Also, politicians may give speeches mainly focussing on local environmental issues, competitions for children and young people to take photographs or create artwork centred on the annual theme are also conducted. Due to COVID-19, this year celebration goes online.
What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity is generated from two words “biological” and “diversity”. It refers to all the variety of life that can be found on Earth-like plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms. Also, it refers to the communities that they form and the habitats in which they live.
In the article 2 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, a formal definition of Biological diversity is mentioned: It means the variability among living organisms from all sources including inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.
So, we can say that Biodiversity is the combination of life forms and their interactions with each other and with the rest of the environment that has made Earth a uniquely habitable place for humans. No doubt biodiversity provides a large number of goods and services that sustain our lives.
Why is Biodiversity important?
Biodiversity boost ecosystem where each species no matter big or small, all have an important role to play. Like a large number of plant species means a greater variety of crops, diversity in greater species ensures natural sustainability for all life forms and a healthy ecosystem can better withstand and recover from a variety of disasters.
A Healthy ecosystem provides:
– Soil formation and protection
– Protection of water resources
– Pollution breakdown and recycling
– Contribution to climate stability
– Maintenance of ecosystems
With this biological resources like food, wood products, ornamental plants, breeding stocks, population reservoirs, diversity in genes, species and ecosystems. There are social benefits also like research, education, monitoring, recreation, tourism and cultural values etc.
So, we can say that biodiversity is the term given to the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms. No doubt biodiversity that we see today is the evolution of billions of years of fruits, shaped by natural processes and increasingly, by the influence of humans. It is an integral part of life on which we depend.
International Day for Biological Diversity Quotes
- Biodiversity can’t be maintained by protecting a few species in a zoo, or by preserving greenbelts or national parks. To function properly, nature needs more room than that. It can maintain itself, however, without the human expense, without zookeepers, park rangers, foresters or gene banks. All it needs is to be left alone.
- Biodiversity starts in the distant past and it points towards the future
- It is that range of biodiversity that we must care for – the whole thing, rather than one or two stars.
- The protection of biodiversity and, therefore, of endangered species is an issue which should be given a great deal of importance.
- We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless, while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity.
- Climate change, if unchecked is an urgent threat to health, food supplies, biodiversity, and livelihoods across the globe.
International Day for Biological Diversity Wishes
- I can’t imagine anything more important than air, water, soil, energy and biodiversity. These are the things that keep us alive. Happy International Day for Biological Diversity 2021
- It is together that we will be able to save our biodiversity. This is a principle of effectiveness, but it is also a principle of humility. None of us can act alone. Happy International Day for Biological Diversity 2021
- Either we leave our descendants an endowment of zero poverty, zero fossil-fuel use, and zero biodiversity loss, or we leave them facing a tax bill from Earth that could wipe them out. Happy International Day for Biological Diversity 2021
- The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens are so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment. Happy International Day for Biological Diversity 2021
- Our food is safer and our diets are more diverse than ever before; production methods are becoming increasingly sustainable, clean and efficient; and we are constantly becoming better at protecting biodiversity. Happy International Day for Biological Diversity 2021
International Day for Biological Diversity Facts
- Biodiversity is the collection of flora and fauna of a place. Different plants, animals, marine life, microorganisms, insects, habitats, ecosystem etc.that makes our planet so unique and so fascinating.
- World Biodiversity Day is celebrated on 22 May every year.The theme for this year is “Our solutions are in nature” which highlights importance of working together to build a future of life in harmony with nature.
- India is known for its rich biodiversity with only 2.4% of the world’s land area, accounts for 7-8% of all recorded species, with 23.39% of the geographical area covered by forests and trees.
- India is one of the 18 mega-diverse nations of the world. Out of 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world, India has 4 biodiversity hotspots. It has some of the wettest, driest, hottest and coldest regions in the world.
- 16 types of forests are found in India including the evergreen tropical rain forests, dry alpine scrub forests, semi evergreen rain forests, deciduous monsoon forests, thorn forests, subtropical pine forests.
- India is the only country in the world with native populations of both tigers and lions. It is the only country to have Asiatic Lions, and has indigenous Royal Bengal Tigers.
- Among plants, 33% of the world’s species are endemic to India, which means they are found nowhere else in the world.
- 11 percent of plant biodiversity in the world is found in India.
- Mangroves in India account for about 3% of the world’s entire mangrove vegetation.The Sundarbans of India and Bangladesh is home to the Royal Bengal Tigers
- 350 mammals which make up 7.6% of world species. Red Panda found in the forests of Sikkim, western Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling, and Meghalaya. It is also the state animal of Sikkim.
- 197 amphibians which make up 4.4% of the world species.
- 408 reptiles which make up 6.2% of the world species.
- India is third largest producer of fishes in the world. 2546 fishes which make up 11.7% of the world species.
- 1224 birds which make up 2.6% of the world species.
Image:Rufous necked Hornbill
- 15000 flowering plants which make up 6% of the world species.
- India is home of rare endangered Asiatic Ibex,Tibetan Argali,Wild Yak,Snow Leopard,Lion tailed Macaque.
Image: Asiatic Ibex
- There are 50,000 varieties of rice alone found in the country, making it the biggest reservoir of rice on earth.
Let’s look at Four Biodiversity Hotspots in India.
1. The Western Ghats
These hills are situated along the western side of peninsular India and receives good amount of rainfall. Deciduous and Rainforests are present in this region which is home to 77% of the amphibians and 62% of the reptiles which are endemic to India.
2. The Himalayas
This region comprises of Bhutan, Northeast India, and Nepal.There are almost 163 endangered species in this region including one-horned rhinoceros, wild Asian water buffalo and as many as 45 mammals, 50 birds, 12 amphibians, 17 reptiles, 3 invertebrate and 36 plant species.
3. Indo-Burma Region
This region consists of North-Eastern India, Myanmar, and China’s Yunnan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. Almost 13,500 plant species and Freshwater turtle can be spotted in the region half of which are endemic.
This region lies in South-East Asia and includes Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia and Andaman and Nicobar of India. Marine species such as dolphins, whales, turtles, crocodiles, fishes, prawns, lobsters and seashells are found.
Image: Dugong native to Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Dugongs are enormous vegetarian mammals and has a diet consisting solely of sea grass.They occur only in Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay, Gulf of Kutch and Andaman and Nicobar islands.