Celebrating biological diversity day


The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) celebrated the Day for Biological Diversity on May 22 with a number of activities in some its member countries.  

ICIMOD’s Director General Dr David Molden’s message for the day stressed on reinforcing global commitments for biodiversity conservation in order to ensure continuity of provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services of biodiversity resources. 

Two ICIMOD staff, Dr Janita Gurung, Biodiversity Conservation and Management Specialist, and Pratikshya Kandel, Biodiversity Research Associate, contributed an opinion on connecting terrestrial islands to promote biological diversity. The opinion highlighted the importance of using the landscape approach to connect islands of biodiversity in mountain areas. It was taken up by a number of news organizations in the regional member countries.

Another ICIMOD staff, Dr Gopal Singh Rawat, Chief Scientist, Ecosystem Services, gave a talk on biodiversity of the Kailash landscape and conservation strategies to the students and faculty of the Institute of Forestry in Pokhara.

In Pakistan, the ICIMOD Country Office in collaboration with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Pakistan and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrated the IDB and the World Turtle Day 2014 in tandem to raise awareness on saving the endangered sea turtles on coastal areas of Pakistan. 

More than 250 students and 12 teachers took part in the celebrations along with participants from the Sindh Wildlife Department, WWF Pakistan, Women Moti Mala Tanzeem, local community members, and media. The celebration activities included a seminar on the importance of biological diversity, beach cleaning competition, and a quiz competition. Sea turtles are an important part of Pakistan’s biodiversity and around 6,000 Green Turtles used to visit Sandspit-Hawksbay beaches during the breeding seasons, but their numbers have dwindled over the years due to various threats including entanglement in fishing nets, habitat degradation, and littering of the nesting beaches.

In India, Eco Concept, a local NGO based in Guwahati, Assam, organized a three-day community learning tour for students from different schools on understanding biodiversity. 

The United Nations proclaimed May 22 the International Day for Biological Diversity to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The theme for this year’s celebrations was ‘Island Biodiversity’ since 2014 was designated as the ‘International Year of Small Island Developing States’ by the UN General Assembly.