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International Year of Biodiversity

The United Nations’ (UN) declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity, along with the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures and the International Year of Youth. The International Year of Biodiversity aims to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity worldwide.

Clown fish hiding in the coral.

The year 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity.

©iStockphoto.com/H20addict

What do people do?

The International Year of Biodiversity celebrates life on earth and biodiversity’s value for people’s lives. People around the world are invited to participate in activities and events that promote the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010. Through action, it is anticipated that the variety of life on earth – biodiversity – will be safeguarded. There are many ways in which individuals, government bodies, and non-government organizations plan on participating in this event.

Activities for the International Year of Biodiversity include:

Organizations from countries such as (but not exclusive to) Brazil, Colombia, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Norway, and Japan have organized events to promote the International Year of Biodiversity. These events include conferences, multimedia shows, photo exhibitions, and nature congresses.

Background

Biological diversity, also known as biodiversity, is the term given to the variety of life on earth and the natural patterns it forms. This diversity is often understood in terms of the variety of plants, animals and microorganisms. About 1.75 million species are identified, mostly small creatures such as insects. Some scientists believe that there are actually about 13 million species, though estimates range from three to 100 million.

The loss of biodiversity threatens food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and sources of wood, medicines and energy. It also interferes with essential ecological functions. On December 20, 2006, the UN General Assembly declared 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. It designated the secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity as the event’s focal point. The assembly also invited the secretariat to work with other UN bodies, environmental agreements, and organizations to bringing greater international attention to the continued loss of biodiversity.

The International Year of Biodiversity focuses on boosting awareness of biodiversity’s importance by promoting actions to foster biodiversity worldwide. Various partners have committed to actively participating in or organizing activities and projects for this year-long event.

Symbols

The International Year of Biodiversity’s logo is designed to convey the concept of discovery and realization. A host of symbolic iconographic elements are included within the design to depict the scope of biodiversity, which includes marine, flora and fauna aspects. Together, they demonstrate how biodiversity is life and how people realize their place within this journey.

The logo consists of three core components:

The logo’s colors include two shades of green – one darker and the other lighter. However, a grayscale version of the logo is also used in some promotional material for the campaign. The slogan for the International Year of Biodiversity is “Biodiversity is life. Biodiversity is our life”.

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