The United Nations Decade on Biodiversity
In case you haven’t heard, the United Nations has designated the years 2011-2020 as the Decade on Biodiversity. In October 2010, in Japan, governments agreed to a 10 year plan for the purpose of decreasing and eventually reversing the loss of biodiversity on the planet. The year 2010 had already been designated as the Year of Biodiversity, but the United Nations realized that this was not enough time to make a significant impact on this important matter.
With this ten year mission, it is the goal of the United Nations to set the world on a path of living in harmony with nature. The mission of this new plan is to take effective action to decrease the loss of biodiversity and to ensure that by 2020 ecosystems are resilient and able to continue to provide services that contribute to our well-being.
Encouraging Political support: Part of the strategic plan is to work to ensure that Heads of State and Government of all countries understand the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Raising General Awareness: One of the problems in achieving the goals of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, is the lack of public awareness .Does the public see this as an important issue? Without an awareness of how important biodiversity is to human well-being, citizens and stakeholders will not be eager to take the steps needed to mainstream biodiversity considerations into their daily lives. The lack of public awareness also contributes to the low level of attention given to biodiversity issues in the political arena.
The Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity: On July 8, 2010 the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed actor Edward Norton as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity. Edward Norton is an actor who has received two academy award nominations. While he is not acting, Mr. Norton spends his time gathering support for conservation, community development and other important causes. As a conservationist Mr. Norton has also received two awards for his commitments to environmental issues.
If you would like more information on Biodiversity and how you can become involved, please visit the United Nations website on the Decade on Biodiversity- http://www.cbd.int/2011-2020/country/?country=us