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22 May - International Day for Biological Diversity

International Day for Biological Diversity has been celebrated on 22 May every year. The aim of the event is to draw the attention of the press and the public to the importance and protection of the diversity of the nature, the dangers that threaten it, and thus to educate people on the issues of the environment around us.

This year’s theme “Our solutions are in nature” emphasizes hope, solidarity and the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature.

The United Nations designated 22 May because, in 1992, the final text of the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted on that day at a conference of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in Nairobi.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has 3 main objectives:

  • The conservation of biological diversity
  • The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
  • The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources

Diversity ensures the stability of the biosphere. With all extinct species, with any loss of diversity, the biosphere itself loses its stability, which is especially noticeable in the case of natural disasters and epidemics. Biodiversity is therefore the basis of our existence, and its preservation is therefore essential. According to surveys, human activity has threatened some one million species of animals and plants worldwide, more than 75% of terrestrial habitats have been significantly altered, more than 85% of freshwater habitats have been lost and only 16% of the most important habitats in the European Union. and 23% of protected species are in good condition. Between 1990 and 2015 129 million hectares of forest were lost.

2020 has been named the “super year” for nature, as it envisaged a number of key high-level opportunities to enhance climate action, prevent further deterioration of nature and enhance actions to protect biodiversity over the next decade.  However, this ambitious global roadmap for 2020 has been overshadowed by the unprecedented crisis that the world is currently grappling with.

A Summit on Biological Diversity will be held during the High-Level Segment of the UN General Assembly, on 22-23 September this year titled “Urgent Action on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”. The objective of this Summit is to highlight the urgency of action at the highest levels in support of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework that contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and places the global community on a path towards realizing the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity.

In Hungary, we commemorated the International Day for Biological Diversity for the first time in 2005 at the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden, and in recent years our institute has organized exciting professional programs in Tápiószele and Gödöllő at the National Center for Biodiversity and Gene Conservation Centre, when professionals and interested persons were able to learn about the national tasks, institutions and goals of gene conservation.

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