Yesterday we celebrated cultural diversity, today biodiversity!
Today’s date marks the anniversary for the day in 1992 spring when the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted by the United Nations at a conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
The purpose of the day is to raise awareness and understanding of biodiversity issues.
Last year the Guardian wrote an article about the importance of this day and reported shocking facts. Janet Potocnik, a European commissionaire for environment, wrote, that, “during the 20th century, the human population grew by four times and economic output by 40 times. We increased our fossil fuel use by 16 times, our fishing catches by 35 and our water use by 9.” In addition, she wrote that the number of species on or planet is declining at an alarming rate, and that in the EU alone “up to one quarter of animal species is threatened with extinction and 88% of our fish stocks are over-exploited.” This year’s theme, thus, is Marine Biodiversity.
International Day for Biological Diversity is perhaps the most visible in schools around the world but ideally the day would also push more biodiversity issues into politics.
Potocnik concludes her article with an Indian prophecy. It goes, “Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.”
International Day for Biological Diversity exists to alarm us of the direction where we are currently going.
Also in May:
World No-Tobacco Day - May 31st
International Day for UN Peacekeepers - May 29th
World Day Against Homophobia - May 17th