International Day for Biodiversity: 22 May 2019

Date: 
Wed 22/05/19

The United Nations proclaimed May 22 as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. 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.

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

The theme for IDB 2018 was “Celebrating 25 years of Action for Biodiversity”, making the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The 25th anniversary of the Convention presents a unique opportunity to highlight the achievement of its objectives at national and global levels. It also provides an opportunity to look towards the future, particularly, as we start to consider the follow-up to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011- 2020.

2019’s theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity is going to be "Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health", which aims to leverage knowledge and spread awareness of the dependency of our food systems, nutrition, and health on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.

Whether you are in New York or Nairobi or Nagoya, chances are you have access to a greater variety of food than your parents or your grandparents once did. But even as the offerings become more diverse, the global diet as a whole - what people actually eat - is becoming more homogenised, and this is a dangerous thing.

This year’s celebrations focus on biodiversity as the foundation for our food and health and a key catalyst to transforming food systems and improving human health. The theme also celebrates the diversity provided by our natural systems for human existence and well-being on Earth, while contributing to other Sustainable Development Goals, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, ecosystems restoration, cleaner water and zero hunger, among others. 

For more information on this year’s events, please visit the CBD website.