Biodiversity: Food, Water and Health for All

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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.

Celebrations at international and local level

2004 Day celebrations should give a human face to Biodiversity issues; empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development by conserving Biodiversity; promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues; and advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a healthier and more prosperous future.

International Biodiversity Day is a people’s event with colourful activities such as street rallies, bicycle parades, green concerts, essays and poster competitions in schools, media events, tree planting, and public events in parks, nature conservancies and botanic gardens.

Suggested activities at the national or local level:

Designate Biodiversity and the theme of Biodiversity: Food, Water and Health for all for adoption in national parks and other protected areas for
22 May and the period surrounding that date.

Organize exhibits emphasizing the importance of Biodiversity to the surrounding region and accompanied by presentations and documents. Offer free access for the day, or special admission fees to teachers, students and community groups.

Designate the IBD theme at agricultural and plant conservation centres, and botanic gardens, accompanied by special exhibits or special events.

The Biodiversity Office of Canada Website offers a thorough Planning Guide for organizers of events at: www.bco.ec.gc.ca/en/BiodiversityDay/PlanningGuide.cfm

More Info: www.biodiv.org/default.aspx
www.biodiv.org/programmes/outreach/awareness/biodiv-day-2004.asp.