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International Day for Biological Diversity observed

In past hundred years, more than 90 percent of crop varieties have vanished from farmers’ fields. Therefore, loss of varied food is directly linked to health risk factors.

May 22, 2019 10:00 IST
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United Nations (UN) has adopted May 22 as The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Objective of observing this day is to spread awareness about species turning endangered or going to extinct.

Year 2019 theme is - “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health.”

First Biological Diversity International Day was observed by Second Committee of the UN General Assembly on December 29, 1993. Few years later in year 2000, UN General Assembly adopted 22 May as International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB).

About 2019 Theme - Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health

•    Celebrations of this year’s IDB focus on biodiversity as the foundation for our food and health and a key catalyst to transforming food systems and improving human health.
•    It aims to influence knowledge and spread awareness of the dependency of our food systems, nutrition, and health on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.
•    Other focus areas of this years’ theme are - diversity provided by our natural systems for human existence and well-being on Earth, while contributing to other Sustainable Development Goals, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, ecosystems restoration, cleaner water and zero hunger, among others.

Previous Themes

2018 - Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity

2017 - Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism

2016 - Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods

2015 - Biodiversity for Sustainable Development

2014 - Island Biodiversity

2013 - Water and Biodiversity

2012 - Marine Biodiversity

2011 - Forest Biodiversity

2010 - Biodiversity, Development and Poverty Alleviation

Importance of the day

•    During last hundred years, more than 90% of yield varieties have vanished from farmers’ lands.
•    More than 50% of the breeds of many domestic animals have been lost, and all of the world’s 17 main fishing grounds are now being fished at or above their sustainable limits.
•    Local food production systems are also under threat, including related indigenous, traditional and local knowledge.
•    Due to this damage, agricultural biodiversity is disappearing, as well as essential knowledge of traditional medicine and local foods.
•    The loss of varied food is directly linked to health risk factors, such as diabetes, obesity and malnutrition, and has a direct impact on the availability of traditional medicines.

Why to celebrate international days?

International days are celebrated to create awareness and to educate the public on issues of public concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool.

 

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