Here’s why we celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity every year on May 22

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  • The United Nations dedicated May 22 of every year as International Day for Biological Diversity
  • This year’s celebration is special as it will be the first ever online-only campaign increasing awareness during a pandemic.
  • The theme for this year is “Our solutions are in nature” — which shows people are a part of nature.
The United Nations dedicated May 22 of every year as International Day for Biological Diversity to develop awareness about biodiversity issues. The first International Day for Biological Diversity, also known as World Biodiversity day, was created in a UN General Assembly in 1993.

Since 2001, it is celebrated every year. This year’s celebration is special as it will be the first ever online-only campaign increasing awareness during a pandemic. The theme for this year is “Our solutions are in nature” — which shows people are a part of nature.

“Despite all our technological advances we are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter and energy,” says Elizabeth Mrema, the Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biodiversity.

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Avoiding use single-use plastic, reducing food waste, reduced use of pesticide and fertilisers, protecting and planting trees etc. are steps that can protect the biodiversity.

What is Biodiversity?


Biodiversity or Biological diversity means the life on Earth constitutes a variety of living organisms. There are at least 8 million species on this planet including plants, animals, fungi, bactere to name a few. The biodiversity we have today was formed through billions of years of evolution.

Ecosystems like deserts, forests, wetlands, mountains, lakes, rivers are also a part of biodiversity which allows living organisms to form a community and live together.
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“On land, the most important ecosystems and biodiversity refuges are forests, which are home to most of Earth’s terrestrial biodiversity: 80% of amphibian species; 75% of bird species, and 68% of mammal species,” s ays UN quoting State of World’s Forests.

However, one million species are at the risk of extinction and we are losing species at a rate faster than any other time in human history, according to the UN. Since human species are all dependent on each other the loss of biodiversity will break the food chain.

Why is biodiversity important to our health?
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A healthy ecosystem can protect us against an outbreak of any infectious diseases. Humans, on an average, struggle with the spread of one new infectious disease in every four months. The spread of these infections are a result of massive destruction caused in animal habitats which increases our exposure to pathogens.

As we face a pandemic, the UN says, we all need to take an urgent and collaborative call to build a sustainable economy that preserves nature and biodiversity.

SEE ALSO:
The coronavirus is giving the environment a break — but experts think it's unlikely to stay that way

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