Madagascar giant day gecko
Commonly referred to as the Madagascar giant day gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis), it is found in the Madagascar's Protected Areas System.
Photo:Carlos Crespo/UNDP Madagascar

Building a shared future for all life

As the global community is called to re-examine our relationship to the natural world, one thing is certain: despite all our technological advances we are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter and energy, just to name a few.

The theme in 2022 is “Building a shared future for all life”. Fitting within the context of the ongoing United Nations Decade on Restoration, which highlights that biodiversity is the answer to several sustainable development challenges, the slogan conveys the message that biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build back better.

From ecosystem-based approaches to climate and/or nature-based solutions to climate, health issues, food and water security and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build back better. That is the main message from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), key international instrument for sustainable development.

You can show support for biodiversity with the promotional materials for the Day.

a water can waters flowers on top of the globe

Biodiversity lab, the best available spatial data for decision making

The project Biodiversity Lab, launched in 2021, provides decision makers with the best available spatial data to put nature at the center of sustainable development. Dive into its data and maps.

When biodiversity has a problem, humanity has a problem

Biological diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms, but it also includes genetic differences within each species — for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock — and the variety of ecosystems (lakes, forest, deserts, agricultural landscapes) that host multiple kind of interactions among their members (humans, plants, animals).

Biological diversity resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about 3 billion people. Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant‐based medicines for basic healthcare.

But loss of biodiversity threatens all, including our health. It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonoses - diseases transmitted from animals to humans- while, on the other hand, if we keep biodiversity intact, it offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses.

While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities. Given the importance of public education and awareness about this issue, the UN decided to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity annually.

Did you know?

  • Current negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems will undermine progress towards 80% of the assessed targets of 8 Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66% of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions.
  • 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.
logo of the Day 2022

 

Elizabeth Mrema:
Protecting the world’s biodiversity

Elizabeth Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), speaks about the interlinkages between climate change and biodiversity loss.

Ladybug image that links to the website of the free course

The Convention on Biological Diversity and UNDP offer a free course about how to communicate the value of biodiversity.

Related links

Rhino

Get to know the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, an ambitious pack of measures to transform society's relationship with biodiversity by 2050. Among its goals: restore 20% of degraded ecosystems and reduce the introduction or settlement of invasive alien species by 50%. Negotiations to adopt this framework will continue during summer 2022. Stay tuned.

A woman picks tea leaves in a field.

An ecosystem is a place where plants, animals and other organisms, in conjunction with the landscape around them, come together to form the web of life. Here are the eight main types of ecosystem and some of the things that can be done to revive them. 

illustration of people with clock, calendar, to-do list and decorations

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.