22 May each year marks International Biodiversity Day, a date designated by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness and promote worldwide action for biodiversity.
Biodiversity is fundamental to the functioning of ecosystems and to life on Earth. It includes not only the different species of plants, animals and micro-organisms, but also the genetic diversity within each of them and the variety of ecosystems in which they are found. These elements are interconnected and depend on each other to maintain the balance and stability of natural systems.
However, in recent decades, biodiversity has faced accelerated loss due to various human activities. Deforestation, pollution, climate change, overexploitation of natural resources and the introduction of invasive species are just some of the threats to biodiversity. These actions have serious consequences not only for ecosystems, but also for our own survival, as we depend on biodiversity for food, clean water, medicines and other vital services.
International Biodiversity Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It promotes action to protect biodiversity and restore degraded ecosystems. It also highlights the need to integrate biodiversity conservation into sustainable development policies and practices at all levels.
Each year, a specific theme is chosen for International Biodiversity Day, which provides an opportunity to highlight a relevant issue. The theme chosen for International Biodiversity Day 2023 is “From Agreement to Action: Rebuilding Biodiversity”. This theme builds on the outcomes of COP 15 and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (2022), which sets out an ambitious path towards the global vision of a world in harmony with nature by 2050. For this year’s campaign, 22 specific actions in favour of biodiversity have been developed.
International Biodiversity Day is an important occasion to reflect on our relationship with the environment and the need to protect and conserve biodiversity. Each of us can contribute to the conservation of biodiversity through actions as simple as: reducing our consumption of natural resources, supporting conservation initiatives, promoting sustainable agricultural practices and encouraging environmental education.
The celebration of this day reminds us that biodiversity is a priceless treasure that we must preserve for future generations.