International Day for Biological Diversity – 22 May

The International Day for Biological Diversity (or World Biodiversity Day) is a United Nations–sanctioned international day for the promotion of biodiversityissues. It is currently held on May 22.[1]

The International Day for Biological Diversity falls within the scope of the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals. In this larger initiative of international cooperation, the topic of biodiversity concerns stakeholders in sustainable agriculturedesertificationland degradation and drought; water and sanitation; health and sustainable development; energy; science, technology and innovation, knowledge-sharing and capacity-building; urban resilience and adaptation; sustainable transportclimate change and disaster risk reduction; oceans and seas; forests; vulnerable groups including indigenous peoples; and food security.[2] The critical role of biodiversity in sustainable development was recognized in a Rio+20 outcome document, “The World We Want: A Future for All”.

From its creation by the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly in 1993 until 2000, it was held on December 29 to celebrate the day the Convention on Biological Diversity went into effect. On December 20, 2000,[3] the date was shifted to commemorate the adoption of the Convention on May 22, 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, and partly to avoid the many other holidays that occur in late December.[4]


Coinciding with the observance of International Day for Biological Diversity, on May 2011 Indonesian Forestry Minister inaugurated the Ciwalen Canopy Trail that is 120 metres (390 ft) long and 60 metres (200 ft) wide at an elevation of 30–40 metres (98–131 ft) above the ground at Gunung Gede Pangrango National ParkWest Java, to accommodate five to ten people in one trip.[5]

The 2014 theme of Island Biodiversity was chosen because islands provide a rich source of biodiversity for plants, animals, fish and forestry products. Many indigenous fruits and green leafy vegetables are rich in micronutrients. According to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, two out of every three deaths can be attributed to Non-communicable diseases (NCDs). These can result from a change in diets linked to consumption of highly processed imported products, while local crop species are abandoned or reduced in the local diet. As a consequence, island representatives meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in May 2014 stressed that serious consideration should be given to more research and policy action with the aim of increasing diet diversity.[6]


Year Theme[7]
2002 Dedicated to forest biodiversity
2003 Biodiversity and poverty alleviation – challenges for sustainable development
2004 Biodiversity: Food, Water and Health for All
2005 Biodiversity: Life Insurance for our Changing World
2006 Protect Biodiversity in Drylands
2007 Biodiversity and Climate Change
2008 Biodiversity and Agriculture
2009 Invasive Alien Species
2010 Biodiversity, Development and poverty reduction
2011 Forest Biodiversity
2012 Marine Biodiversity
2013 Water and Biodiversity
2014 Island Biodiversity
2015 Convention on Biological Diversity
2016 Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods
2017 Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism
2018 Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity


What’s New

21 May 2018

The rich variety of life on Earth is essential for the welfare and prosperity of people today and for generations to come. More »