This year’s International Day for Biological Diversity is an especially significant one.  To Build Back Biodiversity, we must move from Agreement to Action. We must implement the Framework and deliver on the promises for 2030 that are encapsulated in its 23 targets. Much must be done if we are to address the underlying drivers of biodiversity loss:

All governments must not only develop their national targets but put in place the laws, policies and programmes necessary to achieve them.

Businesses need to assess and disclose impacts and pivot towards sustainable practices.

The efforts of indigenous peoples and local communities in protecting biodiversity must be recognized and protected.

We all need to reduce waste and shift to more sustainable consumption.

And we need to raise the necessary finance to facilitate these actions, reform subsidies and align major investment flows with the goals and targets of the Framework.

We need a whole-of-government, whole-of society approach.

Everyone must be engaged. Everyone must be involved.

On this international day, we celebrate what is being done around the world to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and work towards achieving its goals and targets, the Sustainable Development Goals, and our shared vision of “Living in harmony with nature.”

Although every Biodiversity Day carries its own special significance, this year’s global celebrations bring with it a renewed sense of hope with the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15).

To mark this incredible and historic achievement, the proposal for this year’s theme is “From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity” which builds on the results of COP 15. Now that the world has the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (agreement), the focus must quickly shift to its implementation (action).

Biological diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms, but it also includes genetic differences within each species — for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock — and the variety of ecosystems (lakes, forest, deserts, agricultural landscapes) that host multiple kind of interactions among their members (humans, plants, animals).

Biological diversity resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about 3 billion people. Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant‐based medicines for basic healthcare.

But loss of biodiversity threatens all, including our health. It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonosis – diseases transmitted from animals to humans- while, on the other hand, if we keep biodiversity intact, it offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses.

While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities. Given the importance of public education and awareness about this issue, the UN decided to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity annually.

The Sustainable Development Goal 15 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is devoted to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”.