21.05.2021

#ForNature - International Day for Biological Diversity

Photos: Miguel Schmitter, Julie Steinen, Collage: ZUG

”We are part of the solution #ForNature” is the theme for this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May. The slogan, chosen by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), follows on from the theme set last year in the light of the Corona pandemic - ‘Our solutions are in nature’. 

This serves as a reminder that the diversity of ecosystems, species and genes holds the answers to many societal challenges. Nature-based solutions to climate change and its impacts, human health, food and drinking water security and sustainable livelihoods, says the CBD Secretariat, is the basis on which we can build back better after the limitations faced during the pandemic. 

Nature is existential

The motto warns us that all is not well both in nature and for nature. Each new report or set of data on the state of global biodiversity serves to deepen our concerns about the fundamental state of biological life. Scientific researchers have revealed permanent degradation or destruction affecting ecosystems all over the world, as humankind endangers a million species to irreversible extinction. 

”We are part of the solution #ForNature” also implies that we should consider the aesthetic and health-giving dimensions of nature and biodiversity conservation. Humans do not merely require nature for our day-to-day needs but appreciate it as something that promotes happiness and well-being. 

”We are part of the solution #ForNature” is described by the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as a fundamental, transformative change to the sustainable use of natural resources. This also includes the restoration of degraded landscapes and ecosystems with the aim of conserving species diversity and carbon sinks as well as ensuring food security.

Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

The global community is counting down the days until the new global biodiversity framework is agreed upon. At the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the CBD, ambitious targets are to be signed by 2030 and in the long term by 2050 for the protection and sustainable use of ecosystems and habitats, of flora and fauna, and for the restoration of degraded ecosystems, in order to realise the Vision 2050 'Living in harmony with nature'. 

Various political milestones such as the 'Leader's Pledge for Nature' (signed by 84 heads of state and government) and the High Ambition Coalition (signed by over 60 states to protect 30% of terrestrial and marine ecosystems), hint at the hope that the community of states are ready to set new ambitious targets and implement them through transformative national biodiversity strategies and action programmes.

IKI connects climate action with biodiversity conservation 

IKI has promoted and worked towards biodiversity conservation and climate action since its inception in 2008, with a dedicated funding area being set up in 2011. IKI projects put the slogan “We are part of the solution #ForNature” into practice. They help to ensure that Germany honours its international commitments in providing support for the 2030 CBD mission “To take urgent action across society to put biodiversity on a path to recovery for the benefit of the planet and people.”

In Costa Rica, 34% of the country’s territory has been declared bio-corridors as part of the National Bio-Corridor Programme (PNCB), so as to conserve biodiversity and its ecosystem services. Thanks to the PNCB, government environmental programmes are being implemented both in and outside state conservation areas. The project ‘Implementation of the National Bio-Corridor Programme (PNCB) in the context of the National Biodiversity Strategy of Costa Rica’ supports the national protected area authority, local governments and the population in developing joint strategy plans. [more… ]

As part of the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration (GPFLR), the IKI project ‘Inspire, support, and mobilise forest and landscape restoration’ worked on the restoration of forests and landscapes in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America from 2013 to 2018. A Global Forest Landscape Restoration Council was set up and regional events were organised in order to raise awareness for the topic while also promoting a sense of duty and obligation for forest and landscape restoration. A further aim was to share operational skills and expertise on a worldwide basis. [more… ]

The IKI project ‘Conservation of pollinator diversity for enhanced climate change resilience’ is active in North African and Middle Eastern countries. Issues addressed by the project including global product responsibility (product quality and pollinator-friendly production). The increase in income earned by making improvements to pollinator habitats serves as an incentive for farmers and policymakers alike to protect bees, wasps, flies, beetles and butterflies as important pollinators of both wild and crop plants. [more… ]

The region in which the IKI project ‘Landscapes - Securing ecological connectivity of high conservation value areas’ is located means the project directly addresses the psychological dimension of nature and biodiversity conservation, since it is based in Bhutan, the only country in the world which has declared happiness as a national goal rather than economic growth. In the southwest of the country, the project is helping to establish permanent protection for key biodiversity and ecosystem services in ‘high-conservation value areas’. [more… ]

Outlook 

”We are part of the solution #ForNature” – but we can only make this happen if people become aware that our survival depends on an intact nature. We also need to feel this link between humans and nature.

A commitment and dedication to biodiversity as demonstrated by IKI, develops and strengthens this link between nature and humankind in many different ways. Sustainable commitment with initiatives and programmes of action to counter the progressive loss of biodiversity can also be a powerful tool to let people experience the benefits of living with and for nature.