The International Day for Biological Diversity - 22 May 2005

Message from the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan

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Message from the United Nations Environment Programme , Klaus Toepfer

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Ministerial Statements

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Background

The United Nations proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. When first created by the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly in late 1993, 29 December (the date of entry into force of the Convention of Biological Diversity), was designated The International Day for Biological Diversity. In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted 22 May as IBD, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity. This was partly done because it was difficult for many countries to plan and carry out suitable celebrations for the date of 29 December, given the number of holidays that coincide around that time of year.

Biodiversity: Life Insurance for our Changing World

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Introduction

The United Nations has proclaimed May 22, the International Day for Biological Diversity, to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Biodiversity is the source of the essential goods and ecological services that constitute the source of life for all. The celebration each year of the International Day for Biological Diversity is an occasion to reflect on our responsibility to safeguard this precious heritage for future generations.

As announced by Hamdallah Zedan, the Executive Secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the theme for International Day for Biological Diversity 2005 is:

Biodiversity: Life Insurance for our Changing World.

The world is changing faster than ever before. Growing human populations and expanding consumption are placing great pressure on biological Diversity. This year’s theme for IBD reminds us that, in addition to providing the physical conditions for all life, biodiversity also plays an important role in protecting life and making it resilient to the pressures brought about by change.

Goals and target audiences for your IBD Day celebrations.

As with all past IBD day celebrations, the main goal is to raise the awareness of the general public of the three objectives of the CBD – the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from its use.

In addition to raising awareness, the Secretariat wishes to encourage Parties to work with actors throughout society to action on the objectives and programmes of work of the Convention. To these goals we encourage Parties to add the focus of promoting the Millennium Assessment Biodiversity Synthesis report as a source of information that reinforces the need to realize the three objectives of the CBD.

Parties should continue to try to reach out to the general public in their IBD celebrations, but they should try to promote discussion and attention on the key messages of the report, and encourage a dialogue between the public and decision makers in different sectors, and at different levels. So, for example, an IBD event should bring together businesses that use biodiversity with the local government officials that provide regulation. Or it could bring together the public officials that manage protected areas with the businesses that work on the margins of these areas.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme