Vietnam Time

5/22/2018 4:51:22 PM

UN celebrates 25 years of action for biodiversity

(VNF) – Today, May 22 is the International Day for Biodiversity (IDB), proclaimed by the United Nations, aiming to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. This year, IDB has another special meaning, as 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Biological Diversity. 

Illustrative photo: Red-headed cranes in South Vietnam (moitruong.com.vn)

History of IDB

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 (IDB).

In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted May 22 as IDB, 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 December 29, given the number of holidays that coincide around that time of year.

While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to present and future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities.

UN’s General Secretary Message for IDB 2018

A message by General Secretary of UN, Antonio Guterras, was published on May 21, emphasizing the importance of biodiversity:

"The rich variety of life on Earth is essential for the welfare and prosperity of people today and for generations to come.

That is why, 25 years ago, the world’s nations agreed on the Convention for Biological Diversity. The Convention has three goals: the global conservation of biodiversity, its sustainable use and the equitable sharing of its benefits.

Achieving these objectives is integral to meet our goals for sustainable development.

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UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres (source: EPA)

 Protecting and restoring ecosystems and ensuring access to ecosystem services are necessary for the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. Reducing deforestation and land degradation and enhancing carbon stocks in forests, drylands, rangelands and croplands are needed for mitigating climate change.

And protecting the biodiversity of forests and watersheds supports clean and plentiful water supplies. These are just some of the benefits of biodiversity. Yet, despite this understanding, biodiversity loss continues around the globe. The answer is to intensify efforts and build on successes.

This year, Parties to the Convention will begin work on a new action plan to ensure that, by 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used for the benefit of all people. The entire world needs to join this effort. On this International Day for Biological Diversity, I urge governments, businesses and people everywhere to act to protect the nature that sustains us. Our collective future depends on it."

More about the Convention on Biodiversity

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Biological Diversity. 

The Convention on Biological Diversity is the international legal instrument for "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources" that has been ratified by 196 nations.

Since entering into force, the Convention has been implemented through the vision and leadership displayed by countries, non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations, indigenous peoples and local communities, the scientific community and individuals alike.

Vietnam is one of the world’s most biologically diverse countries, with 10 percent of the world’s mammal, bird and fish species in habitation. (illustrative photo: Le Minh Ngoc)

According to UN, the results are considerable: the development of scientific guidance for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for biomes around the world, the entry into force of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization and the creation and implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans. After adopting the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, Parties have made significant headway in the achievement of a number of its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. 

The Strategic Plan is comprised of a shared vision, a mission, strategic goals and 20 ambitious yet achievable targets, the Aichi Targets. The Plan serves as a flexible framework for the establishment of national and regional targets and it promotes the coherent and effective implementation of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The new plan states three missions:

First, take effective and urgent action to halt the loss of biodiversity in order to ensure that by 2020 ecosystems are resilient and continue to provide essential services, thereby securing the planet's variety of life, and contributing to human well-being, and poverty eradication.

Second, to ensure this, pressures on biodiversity are reduced, ecosystems are restored, biological resources are sustainably used and benefits arising out of utilization of genetic resources are shared in a fair and equitable manner,

Third, adequate financial resources are provided, capacities are enhanced, biodiversity issues and values mainstreamed, appropriate policies are effectively implemented, and decision-making is based on sound science and the precautionary approach./.

  ( VNF )
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