21.05.2019 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

UNESCO message for the International Day for Biological Diversity

Message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO,on the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity, 22 May 2018

Biodiversity  is  a  common  good,  an  invaluable   legacy  formed  over  the  course  of  millions  of  years,  and  capital  to  transmit  to  future  generations.  In  its  definition,  it  includes  the  exceptional  variety  of  the  forms  of  life  on  Earth,  as  well  as  the  natural  environments where these forms developed – the ecosystems. Biodiversity is central to our own existence, offering all nature's resources to our development.

Biodiversity,   however,   is   not   inexhaustible.   Human   interventions   –   extensive exploitation of resources, unsustainable patterns of  consumption, industrial  pollution causing climate change – are resulting in irreparable damage to biodiversity.

This was highlighted by international experts at the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity  and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which met last March in Medellin,   Colombia.  The  reports  produced  by  these  experts  confirmed  the  rapid  deterioration  in  the  state  of  biodiversity  and  underlined  the  direct  effects  of  this  deterioration,  which  are  already  visible,  such  as  the  spread  of  certain  diseases  to  men.

UNESCO, a partner agency of IPBES, pledges to work towards halting the loss of biodiversity  and  fostering  the  sustainable  use  of  ecosystems.  The  Programme  on  Man  and  the  Biosphere  (MAB),  for  example,  aims  to ensure a harmonious balance between human activities and the natural environment. In the context of the United Nations  Decade  on  Biodiversity  (2011-2020), UNESCO is also contributing actively to  the  implementation  of  the  Convention  on  Biological  Diversity,  adopted  25  years  ago  by  196  parties  and  aimed  at  the  conservation  of  biological  diversity  and  a  sustainable and equitable  sharing of resources. At sites on its World Heritage List, in its World Network of Biosphere Reserves and its Global Geoparks, our Organization develops,  with  all  its  partners,  innovative   solutions  by  addressing  issues  of  biodiversity and cultural diversity in a complementary manner.

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