On this day, May 22nd, countries and communities around the world are celebrating the International Day for Biological Diversity. In 1993 the United Nations officially declared May 22nd the International Day for Biological Diversity to raise awareness about the world’s continuing decline in biodiversity, and the problems this poses for the future of our planet Earth. Every year the Convention on Biological Diversity chooses a theme for the day that has to do with different aspects of biodiversity. This year’s theme, a special one because it marks the 25th anniversary of people around the world hosting local celebrations to promote biological diversity, is titled “Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity”.
The United Nations defines biological diversity or biodiversity as “the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms.” The evolution of the world’s biodiversity has taken billions of years to develop and has been fueled by human activity and natural processes. As far as we know, there are about 1.75 million different species of animals, plants, and microorganisms. Another definition of biological diversity encompasses the differences we see in various ecosystems. Biological diversity is an integral part to maintaining and sustaining the wellbeing of our Earth, and it is important to raise awareness about the drastic decline in biological resources due to unsustainable consumption. As an educator you can give your students the tools to empower them to advocate for the importance of biological diversity to our planet.
We as humans have played a huge role in the decline of biodiversity and it is important for our young global citizens to understand how they can play a part in making our world more sustainable. Recognizing May 22nd as the International Day for Biological Diversity is a great way to usher in some classroom activities about biodiversity, so that lessons and exploratory learning on this topic can be carried out throughout the year. The official Convention on Biological Diversity website lists serval lessons plans geared towards primary school students for educators to use in their classrooms. Actionbioscience.org is another great online resource for educators.
Join the United Nations in spreading awareness about the importance of biodiversity and engage your students so that they can help shape and change the world they live in!