International Day for Biological Diversity

Quick Facts - GB

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2024 Date22 May 2024
2025 Date22 May 2025

International Day for Biological Diversity

International Day for Biological Diversity in

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International Day for Biological Diversity History

The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) is an annual event aimed at raising awareness about the importance of protecting the planet's rich and varied ecosystems. Diverse ecosystems are essential for human wellbeing, economic development, and environmental sustainability. This day serves as a reminder that safeguarding our planet's biological resources is critical for present and future generations.

The IDB, established by the United Nations in 2000, has particular relevance for the United Kingdom due to the country's diverse array of species and habitats. Ongoing concerns, such as habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change, have led to a marked decline in British biodiversity in recent decades. The UK government has made various commitments to address these issues and increase the resilience of the country's ecosystems.

Typical activities in the United Kingdom during the IDB include educational events, seminars, and nature walks that raise awareness on a wide range of environmental topics. Various organisations, including NGOs, schools, and local communities, host these events with the aim of fostering greater understanding and appreciation of the country's biodiversity. The International Day for Biological Diversity takes place on May 22 each year, offering UK citizens and organisations a dedicated occasion to celebrate the unique natural world that surrounds them, and to engage in efforts to protect it for generations to come.

Facts about Biological Diversity

  • Scientists estimate that there are anywhere between 8.7 million to 30 million species on Earth. However, only about 1.5 million species have been identified and classified thus far.
  • Despite covering less than 1% of the ocean floor, coral reefs are estimated to be home to 25% of all marine species.
  • Habitat degradation and the loss of biodiversity is a threat to the livelihood of over 1 billion people who live in dry and subhumid climates.
  • The UK has over 15,000 species of plants, 40,000 species of animals, and 1,500 species of fungi.
  • The UK 's National Biodiversity Network was established in 2000. It is a partnership of over 200 organizations that coordinate to record and map the UK's biodiversity.

Top things to do in the UK for this observance

  • Spread awareness on social media by using the hashtags #InternationalDayForBiologicalDiversity, #IDBD and #BiologicalDiversity.
  • Join the international Day for Biological Diversity Google Hangout where you can video stream yourself and with other people to discuss biological diversity with like-minded individuals.
  • Watch a documentary about biological diversity in the UK. Here are our top picks:
    1. Wild Britain (2018) - A documentary series that explores the diverse landscapes and wildlife of the United Kingdom, showcasing the country's various forests, rivers, mountains, and coasts.
    2. Springwatch / Autumnwatch / Winterwatch - These long-running BBC series, airing annually, showcase the beauty and drama of British wildlife throughout the changing seasons.
    3. Great British Wildlife Revival (2013) - A documentary series focusing on efforts to save Britain's endangered species, highlighting the work of dedicated conservationists who are working to protect and restore the UK's wildlife.
  • Read a book about the biological diversity in the United Kingdom. Here are our top suggestions:
    1. The Wildlife Trusts Handbook of Garden Wildlife by Nicholas Hammond - This guide offers information on the biodiversity present in typical British gardens, providing insights into the species and habitats that can be found in a variety of urban and rural settings.
    2. Britain's Habitats: A Field Guide to the Wildlife Habitats of Great Britain and Ireland by Sophie Lake and Durwyn Liley - This guide explores the range of habitats found throughout the UK and Ireland, providing a comprehensive overview of the country's biogeographic regions and their associated species.
    3. British Wildlife: A Photographic Guide to Every Common Species by Paul Sterry - This comprehensive guide offers detailed information and photographs for hundreds of species found throughout the United Kingdom, making it a useful resource for learning about local biodiversity.

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