International Biodiversity Day 2023: Message by ABCG Director Rubina James
Biodiversity refers to every living thing from the smallest microorganisms to the largest mammals, including plants and human that should co-exist simultaneously and like an intricate web maintain balance and support life on earth.
International Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated annually in May to increase understanding and appreciation of the criticality of biodiversity. This year, the theme “From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity” echoes the need to urgently act.
Despite the obvious need to maintain balance through protection, restoration, and promotion of sustainable use of ecosystems, we continue to watch the senseless, staggering, and unprecedented loss of species at global, regional and national levels. IUCN’s, Red List of Threatened Species indicates that over 42,000 species are at a risk of extinction due to unsustainable human practices and unsustainable agriculture continues to be a leading driver of deforestation and habitat loss. Levels of plastic waste in our environment have risen dramatically over the years, with serious universal impacts, including to life under water.
The 2023 International Day for Biological Diversity is focused on promoting action in support of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework adopted in December 2022.
The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework aims at reversing and restoring biodiversity loss by 2030. The framework has put in place ambitious targets to steer us towards a path of recovery in line with the 2023 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The success of this and other global frameworks is wholly dependent on us applying our collective efforts to realize the 23 targets of the Framework to enable us to live in harmony with nature and build back better.
Therefore, we must put a halt to unsustainable practices such pollution, food waste, and deforestation that continue to put humanity at crossroads with nature. Importantly, we must apply and take up opportunities that are available such as data and information, technological advances, innovative tools and new approaches, indigenous knowledge, financial flows in conservation, among other opportunities present in our day and age, to do things differently and achieve greater nature positive results.
As we mark this important day, we need to renew our commitments and actions to support the achievement of this new Framework. We must conserve biodiversity and choose sustainable options in all spheres of life and sectors. On World Biodiversity Day and everyday, let’s apply our collective effort to implement this important Framework of the decade and build back better.