Friday, 22 May 2015

International Biological Diversity Day 2015 : Plant Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.

The United Nations General Assembly, in December 2000, proclaimed 22 May as ‘The International Day for Biological Diversity’, to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Earlier December 29th was the date to observe International Day for Biological Diversity. However, 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. Noting the recommendation of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its fifth meeting that the date of the International Day for Biological Diversity be changed to give it greater visibility, it was decided to proclaim 22 May, as the International Day for Biological Diversity henceforth.

Theme of the International Day for Biological Diversity 2015

Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) vide notification 2014-096 dated 25th July 2014 announced that the theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity 2015 will be: “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”. Further, Dr. Dias on 10th December 2014 while mentioning the activities to be done by UNEP, said, “The theme reflects the importance of efforts made at all levels to establish a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda for the period of 2015-2030 and the relevance of biodiversity for the achievement of sustainable development”.

International Biological Diversity @ Indian Botanists

To commemorate International Day for Biological Diversity 2015, Indian Botanists invited articles, opinions, videos, short film etc. on The theme was selected in the similar line as announced by UNEP and the theme was, 'PLANT BIODIVERSTY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT’

In response, Indian Botanists, received various articles and opinions.However, we were able to publish only limited number of articles owing to the content and relevance to the theme.

An article 'At the Cost of Biodiversity, Development isn’t prerogative! by Deepika Sharma describes how plant biodiversity can be applied as sustainable development and why it is important. The article is illustrated with examples and figures as well.

Further, a detail of Simmondsia chinensis describing its botanical features and justifying, Jojoba as a promising plant for sustainable development has been articulated by P K Mishra.

Western Ghats of India has been recognised as world heritage by UNESCO as it is one of the mega hot spots of biodiversity. It is always in centre whenever any policy or framework is being discussed on sustainable development. An article exploring some ornamental and medicinal pteridophytes from northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra by Shaikh and Chopade creates awareness and advocates for conservation of these pteridophytes.

As part of campaign on social media with regard to 'Plant Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, Shri Abhi Shek expressed his opinion, 'Plant Biodiversity plays an important role in ecosystem functioning and providing ecosystem services. The development which creates imbalance between ecosystem Is of no use. And plant biodiversity plays an important role in balancing the development with ecosystem' said in his reply to Indian Botanists.

Logo for International Biological Diversity Day in Hindi Language

Team Indian Botanists took the opportunity to design the logo for International Biological Diversity Day 2015 as invited by Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)- wing of United Nation, through their website. I am glad to share that the logo designed by team Indian Botanists in Hindi language has been adopted and uploaded on the website of CBD. You can download the logo for your use from the above link. You are encouraged to share this logo to celebrate, International Biological Diversity Day 2015.

And, before I conclude, I request you to join the campaign to raise awareness of the importance of plant biodiversity for sustainable development. One simple way to join the campaign is by inviting your friends and colleagues to “like” the 'Indian Botanists on Facebook'. You may follow us on twitter:

Rabish Chandra
Scientific Curator cum Scientific Moderator
Indian Botanists
@rabishchandra on twitter

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