» Closing of the International Year of Biodiversity; beginning of a new era
16.12.2010 -

Closing of the International Year of Biodiversity; beginning of a new era

The official closing ceremony of the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) will take place in Kanazawa, Japan on 18 and 19 December. Through the IYB, UNESCO actively brought its know-how in the science, education, culture and communication of biodiversity issues to making the IYB a lasting success for the future of life on the planet.

The IYB activities, including those of UNESCO, contributed significantly to the successful outcome of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) which took place in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010 where a new ten-year strategic plan and a new international treaty on access and benefit sharing from genetic resources were adopted.

Throughout the IYB steady progress was made towards the establishment of an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) on the model of the IPCC, pivotal in assessing the science and raising global awareness of climate change. UNESCO is a full partner in the IPBES process.

In January 2010, to launch the IYB, UNESCO organized a high-level event in Paris, launched the official IYB travelling exhibit with a wide range of partners in particular the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Global Environment Facility, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Airbus. The travelling exhibition has been circulated in over 100 countries, translated into over 10 languages and used in several national awareness-raising campaigns including in the Sao Paulo subway in Brazil. The UNESCO-CBD Biodiversity Learning Kit project was also launched.

UNESCO organized a scientific conference, at its international IYB launch on biodiversity policy issues which examined the state-of-the-art of biodiversity science including in relation to global, and climate change and assessed related implications for policy-making. A comprehensive statement with recommendations was issued.

In July 2010 in Montreal, UNESCO co-organized an international conference on biological and cultural diversity which developed a proposal for a Joint UNESCO-CBD Programme on Biological and Cultural Diversity. This Programme has been welcomed by the CBD COP 10 in Nagoya which recognized the Programme as 'useful coordination mechanism to advance the implementation of the Convention and deepen global awareness of the inter-linkages between cultural and biological diversity'. Parties and other relevant stakeholders were invited to 'contribute to and support the implementation of this joint programme'.

UNESCO’s 185th Executive Board in October 2010 gave the green light to the development of a new UNESCO initiative on biodiversity to capitalize on the Organization’s specific strengths in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem governance, education and awareness raising on biodiversity, linking biodiversity conservation to the preservation of cultural diversity and mobilizing the Man and Biosphere programme to encourage research and conservation of biodiversity in the 564 biosphere reserves in 109 countries around the world.

The IYB won the coveted Best Green International Campaign Award. UNESCO is proud to have contributed to this achievement. 

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