UNESCO Biodiversity Initiative


© Destination Läckö Kinnekulle
Allium urssium - Lake Vänern Archipelago, Sweden

The loss or degradation of biodiversity, now occurring at an unprecedented pace at local and global levels is a threat to our environment, economies, cultures and societies. It is changing our conception of ourselves and our place in the world. Human impact on biodiversity, ecosystems and climate continues to grow and the complexity and diversity of the range of services that flow from biodiversity are often unknown and undervalued.

Therefore the United Nations declares 2011-2020 a decade on Biodiversity and adopt the Strategic Plan on Biodiversity (2011-2020) agreed on at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) held in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010, which will be applied to the UN system as a Whole.

Throughout the Decade, Building on the rich legacy of the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010, UNESCO must contribute significantly to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and increase substantially Member State’s awareness of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

To this regard, UNESCO Biodiversity Initiative was developed to crystallize UNESCO’s work in education, science and culture for the preservation of biodiversity and to allow UNESCO to cooperate at all levels through the "One UN" initiative for Biodiversity in support of efforts by governments to implement their biodiversity commitments and to strengthen the biodiversity science-policy interface through its contribution to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

UNESCO also intends to substantially contribute to a successful outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development‘Rio+20’, including to making operational the notions of green economy and green societies, in which healthy biodiversity and ecosystem services will play a central role.
UNESCO Biodiversity Initiative’s holistic perspective will foster greater knowledge and monitoring of biodiversity; capacity building to generate such knowledge, particularly at the local level; and will support the growth of sustainable cultural industries and work to put into operation the concept of ‘green societies’ based on ‘green economies’ by addressing the economic and social value of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

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