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International Year of Biodiversity 2010

Last Updated on Monday, 12 March 2012 14:20

UN Secretary General Welcome Message for the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity from CBD on Vimeo.

The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. At the Johannesburg Summit 2002 the international community set itself the goal of making a "substantial reduction in the rate of loss of biological diversity" by 2010 but this is not happening. In fact biologists talk about sixth extinction wave and they estimate that the rate of species extinction is about 1,000 times higher than the natural background rate, mostly because of human activities: habitat loss, exploitation and climate change.

According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment "reducing biodiversity will impact societies at a number of levels, including diminishing the availability of economically valuable natural goods such as timber and compromising "ecosystem services" such as fresh water and biodegrading bacteria."

So we have some challenges here. Mankind is one of the species which has also seen some extinctions. There were over  6000 languages spoken globally but now many have disappeared - or will - with the world's last speaker of the language. This is a great cultural biodiversity loss.

However our challenge must be to celebrate and save the biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth! And learn all we can from nature and its species which have been here for billions of years - and learnt both how to create life and not destroy it in the process.

 

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