If you’re looking for a day to show your love for our planet, why not celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22? This is a day dedicated to making sure that Earth remains a place where all creatures—no matter what environment they depend on—can not only survive, but also thrive. Originally, Biological Diversity Day was proclaimed on December 29. In December 2000, however, the UN General Assembly changed the date to May 22. This was partly meant to commemorate the adoption of the Convention at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, and partly to avoid clashing with the various international holidays that occur in late December (hello, Christmas). So whether you’re from a desert climate, a forest, a valley, or a swamp, come celebrate biological diversity with us this May 22.
Biodiversity, a simple word with some very broad reaching implications. Biodiversity, when split into it’s component parts, “Diversity” defined as “a range of different things.” and bio meaning “life”, quite simply means “A Diversity of Life”. It has been shown that ecological niches with good biodiversity flourish and are healthy.
History of the International Day for Biological Diversity
The International Day for Biological Diversity was first established in 1993, when the 29th of December was selected to serve as the day to educate the world of the importance of Biodiversity. This was later changed to the 22 of May in 2000. Too many winter holidays were interfering with countries holding meaningful celebrations.
The prevalence of monoculture farming in the world has led to some rather dramatic and drastic consequences. Unknown to most consumers, most of the world only consumes one type of banana, and that isn’t the same kind that was being eaten only a few decades ago. Due to monoculture farming, an entire species of banana was wiped out by disease, leading to the cultivation of our present strain. Without biodiversity, we’re currently set up for the same thing to happen all over again.
Each year a theme is selected to educate the world on the broad variety of topics that fall under the veil of biodiversity, from Water and Marine biodiversity, to Forest and Sustainable development concerns.
Celebrating the International Day for Biological Diversity
Celebrating Biodiversity can be fun and delicious, especially if you take this opportunity to visit farmers markets and co-ops in your local area to try new types of produce. Whether you incorporate heirloom tomatoes into your gardening or cooking, or try one of the rainbow of colors of carrots out there that aren’t orange, biodiversity can bring a great new experience to your table.
Another way of celebrating biodiversity is to join a local park clean-up team and help to remove invasive plants from your local environment. These teams of volunteers will gather to remove plants that are impacting the local fauna’s biodiversity by taking over natural grow areas.
Another way to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity is to simply get out into the world and enjoy all the different types of life your local area offers. Even a local park can have an amazing variety of life you’ve never noticed, from the insects crawling through the grass and dirt, to the flowers we so clumsily lump together as ‘wildflowers’.
Whatever the case, get out there and celebrate the diversity of our natural world, not just on the International Day for Biological Diversity, but every day!