To celebrate the International Biodiversity Day on May 22, a series of activities of various forms were organized by the Office of the Convention on Biological Diversity under China's Coordinating Group for Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in collaboration with relevant departments and a number of biodiversity-related international organizations.
The activities, which were undertaken through a full use of various media, such as radio, television, Internet and newspapers, were organized to observe the theme identified for celebrating IBD this year, "Biodiversity and Poverty Alleviation-Challenges for Sustainable Development". This series of activities were also planned in the 2003 Work Plan for CBD implementation. Features to celebrate IBD this year were published in major national newspapers, on Web sites and in some local newspapers. These newspapers and Web sites included the People's Daily, China Environment News, Guangming Daily, China Daily, South Metropolitan Post, China Legal Daily, China Green Times, and www.chinesewomen.com.cn
, and the national CHM for CBD. Some national and local television and radio stations, including CCTV, China People's Central Radio Station, also released special features or documentaries to celebrate IBD this year as well as the activities to implement CBD.
Other activities were organized at local levels, for example, in provinces of Guizhou, Guangdong, Fujian and Heilongjiang.
Some planned activities, such as a press conference, on-site workshop and a celebration ceremony at the People's Hall, had to be cancelled due to the spreading of SARS during May. Nevertheless, the series of activities mentioned above to celebrate IBD this year were among the most influential in the past few years. They attracted widespread and extensive public attention and active public participation, playing a strong role in popularizing knowledge of biodiversity, increasing public awareness of biodiversity conservation, mobilizing public participation in CBD implementation and biodiversity conservation. Meanwhile, they also demonstrated China's achievements in CBD implementation and the leading role of State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) in this process.
- National Knowledge Test on Biodiversity
The test was published in the People's Daily, China Environment News, CBD Implementation Bulletin as well as on some Web sites like www. biodiv.gov.cn (national CHM for CBD), www.xinhuanet.com and www.sepa.gov.cn. The test contained 50 mutiple-choice and yes-or-no questions. They touched on knowledge of biosafety, alien invasive species, genetic resources, traditional knowledge, protected areas, wildlife conservation and prevention of SARS, values of biodiversity and national coordination mechanisms for CBD implementation. This test was sponsored by such biodiversity conservation organizations as the International Foundation for Animal Welfare and The Nature Conservancy. The test produced one first-prize winner, five second-prize winners and ten third-prize winners, as well as 100 winners for active participation. The test lasted from 22 May to 22 June. The test received wide public attention and active public participation. By 22 June, the Office of the Convention on Biological Diversity had received nearly 30,000 answer sheets.
- On-line Discussion
3:00 to 4:30 pm, 22 May, Mr. Wang Dehui (Deputy Director General of Nature Conservation Department of SEPA), Dr. Zhang Li (China Representative of International Foundation for Animal Welfare), Dr. Wan Fanghao (a biodiversity expert) participated in an on-line discussion at www.xinhuanet.com. They exchanged views with the interested public on the situation of biodiversity conservation at home and abroad and relevant problems in this field. The discussion covered nature conservation in Beijing, prevention of alien invasive species, protection of genetic resources, wildlife protection and prevention of viruses like SARS. Nearly one thousand persons visited the above Web site and participated in the discussion. More than 500 questions were raised in the on-line exchange and the participating officials and experts answered the questions raised in detail. The on-site atmosphere of the discussion was also warm.
- Panel Interview on CCTV
9:30 pm, 22 May, Mr. Liu Fuhe (Director General for Policy and Regulations, State Council Office for Poverty Alleviation), Dr. Jin Jianmin (Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering) and Dr. Jiang Zhigang (a biodiversity expert) were invited to participate in an expert interview to celebrate IBD this year, which was televised live on China News of CCTV Channel IV (which is mainly viewed by an overseas audience). The panelists introduced the principal concepts of biodiversity, the current situation of biodiversity conservation and protected areas in China, and elaborated on the relationship between biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation. In the course of the interview, the programme also showed some activities held at local levels to celebrate IBD that day, as well as a special feature to introduce the experience and achievements of Caohai, Guizhou in biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation. The panel interview was well received by the audience because it was direct and accompanied by vivid pictures.
- Publication of Special Articles and Supplement of China CBD Implementation Bulletin (Chinese and English)
To celebrate IBD this year, Mr. Zhu Guangyao, Vice Minister of SEPA, Mr. Yang Chaofei, Director General of Nature Conservation Department of SEPA and some biodiversity experts published special articles in the People's Daily, which attracted wide attention and exercised tremendous influence.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Convention on Biological Diversity also compiled a special issue of China CBD Implementation Bulletin for celebrating IBD this year. This special issue contained rich content, ranging from summaries of celebration activities, international regulations concerning biosafety, alien species and genetic resources (such as the Biosafety Protocol and Bonn Guidelines). This special issue was distributed to relevant departments of the State Council, member departments and agencies of China's Coordinating Group for CBD Implementation, UNEP, CBD Secretariat, international NGOs, foreign embassies in China, local environment departments and some nature reserves. It was also made available through the national CHM for CBD. The special issue was well received at home and abroad, which was indicated by numerous requests and orders for it.
- Other planned activities may be postponed until the second half of the year, such as a photo exposition of China's achievements in CBD implementation, an on-site international workshop to be held in Caohai, Guizhou Province and the launching of symbols for China's nature reserves or protected areas in the People's Hall in Beijing.