Saturday 22nd May 2010 is International Day of Biodiversity. In fact, the UN designated this whole year of 2010 as ‘International
Year of Biodiversity’ and I’ve been writing news articles for the CABI
Environmental Impact database (EI) throughout the year on the subject to
highlight the European Environment Agency (EEA) ’10 messages on
biodiversity for 2010’. The link for these articles will be added at the
end of the blog, as well as the link to the EEA site with the published
and forthcoming messages. Read on to find out what Cabi and other organisations are doing in connection with biodiversity.
The EEA stressed in the first message that variety of life (biodiversity) will be increasingly indispensable in fighting climate change. It warned that current consumption and production patterns are depriving ecosystems of their capacity to withstand climate change and deliver services. They also gave recommendations to tackle the interdependence of biodiversity loss and climate change, and on how to adopt an ecosystem-based approach to mitigation and adaptation actions. The 5th EEA message on forest ecosystems stresses that old-growth natural and semi-natural forests are particularly valuable for biodiversity and carbon storage. Climate change is first expected to affect the range of tree species, with greatest impacts on those situated at latitudinal and altitudinal extremes. It is also expected that increased periods of drought and warmer winters are likely to weaken forests further against invasive species.
CABI has been doing a lot of work on management of invasive species and today (Wednesday 19 May) key experts from the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) and partners – CABI and IUCN – are gathering in Nairobi to share their experiences and to call for more vigilance and action from managers of protected areas. These protected areas in Africa are one of the main mechanisms for conserving the rich biodiversity of the continent. However, invasive species, which are one of the biggest drivers of biodiversity loss, are now crossing boundaries and invading these previously safe havens.
Activities for the public
The Natural History Museum (NHM) has organised a lot of activities to celebrate biodiversity. The NHM events include a Science Roadshow in the Darwin Centre cocoon building, where you can meet museum scientists; nature live talks in the Attenborough Studio; launching of the Young Darwin Prize to find the best nature news videos; and the creation of a special biodiversity day elephant sculpture, which will join the other two already decorated to take part on The Elephant Parade in London. This should be quite fun for the kids.
Link to EI articles on biodiversity