International Day Of Biodiversity 2019: Date, Theme And Significance


According to the United Nations, May 22 is celebrated as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. When the Second Committee of the United General Assembly had first created the day in 1993, they had designated December 29 to be the International Day for Biological Diversity. 

In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted 22 May as IDB, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The change in date was partly done to carry out suitable celebrations gave that a number of holidays coincide during December. The theme for 2019 is Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health

According to UN reports, the last century has witnessed more than 90 per cent of the crop varieties and half of the breeds of domestic animals being wiped out. Furthermore, all of the world’s 17 main fishing grounds are now being fished at or above their sustainable limits and locally-varied food production systems are under threat. With this decline, agrobiodiversity is disappearing, and with it basic knowledge about traditional medicine and local foods are being pushed to the periphery as well.

This, paired with a growing lack of knowledge, can and may cause a host of diseases or health risk factors, such as diabetes, obesity and malnutrition. According to the UN while people have greater access to a variety of foods than their predecessors, the global diet as a whole is becoming more homogenized, and this is a dangerous thing. This year’s celebrations of the International Day for Biological Diversity focuses on biodiversity as the foundation for food and health and a the key catalyst to transforming food systems and improving human health.

According to the UN website, the theme “aims to leverage knowledge and spread awareness of the dependency of our food systems, nutrition, and health on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.” UN further states that the theme also celebrates “diversity provided by our natural systems for human existence and well-being on Earth, while contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.”