13 January 2010
20 December 2006 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. The UN-declared International Year of Biodiversity marks the 2010 Biodiversity Target aiming to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by this date.The International Year of Biodiversity is a unique opportunity to increase understanding of the vital role that biodiversity plays in sustaining life on Earth. People all over the world are working to safeguard this irreplaceable natural wealth and reduce biodiversity loss. This is vital for current and future human wellbeing.
The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity was invited to coordinate activities of the International Year of Biodiversity and identified UNESCO as a key international partner in the official implementation strategy it elaborated. During the Year, UNESCO will lead several activities which aim to educate and to raise public awareness on the reasons for conserving biodiversity, to fill the gaps in our knowledge of biodiversity and to catalyze further international action for its sustainable use. UNESCO has facilitated and catalysed research on biodiversity science through international scientific cooperation in the Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB) and the significant contributions to international scientific assessments on biodiversity science including the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) and the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). Biodiversity conservation is also promoted in the context of World Heritage and the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) of which UNESCO is the lead UN agency.
In the framework of the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB), the UNESCO IYB Biodiversity Science Policy Conference will be held on the 25-29 January 2010 in Paris. This conference provides an opportunity to present new scientific findings on biodiversity and ecosystem services, including in relation to global and climate change and to assess related implications for policy-making. While taking into account the priorities expressed by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Conference is intended to pay special attention to the voice of the scientific community in order to bring novel knowledge that could be used in the context of biodiversity-related decisions.