International Day for Biological Diversity celebrated worldwide

May 22, 2017 09:49 IST

22 May: International Day for Biological Diversity

The International Day for Biological Diversity was celebrated globally on 22 May 2017 with the theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism”.

The theme was chosen as it coincides with the observance of2017, which is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, and also to contribute to ongoing initiatives like the Sustainable Tourism Programme.

 International Day of Biodiversity

Significance

The observance of the day aims to raise awareness of the important contribution of sustainable tourism to economic growth as well as to the conservation of biodiversity.

While the diversity in species, ecosystems and landscapes plays a huge role in attracting tourism and promoting economic growth, a well-structured tourism sector can help reduce threats to wildlife population and in turn maintain and increase the biodiversity through the revenue obtained from tourism.

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Background

• Though there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to present and future generations, the threat to species and ecosystems continues at an alarming rate due to certain human activities.

• The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) convened the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts on Biological Diversity in November 1988 to explore the need for an international convention on biological diversity.

• In May 1989, the Ad Hoc Working Group of Technical and Legal Experts was established to prepare an international legal instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

• The group’s work culminated on 22 May 1992 with the Nairobi Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

• The Convention entered into force on 29 December 1993. It represents a dramatic step forward in the conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

• Given the importance of public education and awareness for the implementation of the Convention, the General Assembly proclaimed 22 May, the date of the adoption of its text, as the International Day for Biological Diversity.

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