In May 2002 the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia, with financial support from the UNDP/GEF project "Priority Capacity Building for Biodiversity and Establishment of CHM Structures" organized several events for celebrating the International Day of Biological Diversity.
The main "event" -celebration of the Biological Diversity Day took place at the Hotel "Konventa seta", Riga, Latvia on 22 of May, with about 64 participants attending from over 30 institutions and organisations. This event has gathered together governmental and non -governmental organisations, including also media representatives. Its main objective was "raising public awareness and introducing a wide range of target audience with the state of biological diversity in Latvia".
The event was organized with a plenary session, Mr V. Makarovs, Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia and Mr J.S. Sørensen, Resident Representative of UNDP Latvia, made the opening speeches.
On the occasion of this event, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia has awarded a diploma to Mr J.S. Sørensen for his valuable work done in contributing to develop and implement many projects needed for our society, including also nature protection.
The main objective of the event was to share the existing experience, the following presentations were made:
- Presentation of the newly published booklet –"Nature Protection in Latvia 2000 -2002";
- Presentation of the Biological Diversity Clearing House Mechanism and Biodiversity internet site in Latvia;
- Presentation of the book -"Nature in Northern Europe. Biodiversity in changing environment";
- Information on Kemeri National Park Nature School;
- Information on Gauja National Park activities during the "Parks' week" in Latvia;
- Frog Days in Riga Zoo;
- Presentation of the film on Bird watching contest "Battle of Towers".
The Biological Diversity Day celebration was organised as part of several events that took place in Latvia during May 17 –26, 2002. The calendar of events has been announced via Internet and other mass media sources. Perhaps the most interesting activity was the Bird watching contest "Battle of Towers". This was the first competition of that kind and it was generally very much welcomed by the participants. It is proposed to hold further such birds watching contests and to encourage specialists and volunteers, from different regions of Latvia, to continue to share their experience in protecting and conserving biological diversity.