The International Day for Biological Diversity is a key environmental focal point after the historic COP15 UN Summit.
This year, Monday 22 May is the International Day for Biological Diversity. This annual event aims to increase everyone’s understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues and has the support of many of the world’s governments, alongside the United Nations and leading conservation charities and NGOs.
The International Day for Biological Diversity 2023 focuses on the fifteenth UN’s Sustainable Development Goal – Life on Land. This goal aims to protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and stop biodiversity loss. With human activity causing a vast amount of damage to plant and animal species, achieving this goal is vital if we are to avoid a catastrophic decline in nature.
“Biodiversity is collapsing as one million species teeter on the brink of extinction,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres earlier this year. “We must end these relentless and senseless wars on nature.”
Turning Agreement Into Action
With the theme of ‘From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity’, the International Day for Biological Diversity 2023 builds on the historic signing of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at the COP15 UN Biodiversity Summit in December 2022. This agreement includes targets to protect 30% of the planet for nature by the end of the decade, reform $500bn (£410bn) of environmentally damaging subsidies, and restore 30% of the planet’s degraded terrestrial, inland water, coastal and marine ecosystems.
The signing of this agreement has the potential to halt the destruction of nature and protect a significant part of the planet, and was rightly applauded at the time. But now the focus is on turning this Framework into positive work, and May 22 represents a time for everyone involved in the signing of the agreement to launch their projects and initiatives designed to protect the world’s biodiversity. And if they already have, it’s a fantastic opportunity to publicise their work.
People around the world are also encouraged to do their bit for biodiversity throughout May, with the UN releasing a series of 22 Actions that can be taken by individuals, businesses and organisations. These include cleaning up or restoring a local area, planting native trees, shrubs and plants, saving energy, supporting companies committed to ethical standards, and supporting environmental organisations.
World Land Trust
One environmental organisation that’s dedicated to conserving and promoting biodiversity is World Land Trust, which protects the world’s most biologically significant habitats by funding the creation of reserves to provide permanent protection for habitats and wildlife.
Since WLT began in 1989, the charity has directly funded 2.4 million acres of land, which has enabled its partners around the world to leverage further funding to preserve over 5.5 million acres. In total, the organisation has 34 partners, which has resulted in the preservation of over 25 million acres – an area the size of Iceland.
As a key partner of WLT, Carbon Balanced Paper provides funding for a number of forest conservation projects around the world, from the Khe Nouc Trong region of Vietnam to the Xilitya area of Mexico. The initiative offers paper suppliers and printers the opportunity to carbon balance their paper and print services, while brands use the service to reduce carbon emissions and demonstrate their commitment to the environment.
There’s little doubt that protecting and encouraging biodiversity is one of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges, and it’s the responsibility of everyone to step up and contribute to the solution. Get in touch to find out what you can do.
For more information on the International Day for Biological Diversity, go to www.unep.org/events/un-day/international-day-biological-diversity-2023
- For more information about Carbon Balanced Paper, visit www.carbonbalancedpaper.comor email firstname.lastname@example.org
- For more information about World Land Trust, go to www.worldlandtrust.org