World Biodiversity Day 2024

World Biodiversity Day 2024

The United Nations, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which took place on 22 May 1992, proclaimed today as the International Day for Biodiversity, with the aim of increasing understanding and awareness of the problems related to biodiversity.

“Be part of the plan” is the theme and message of World Biodiversity Day 2024. A call to action for all to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by supporting the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

The meaning of biodiversity

Biological diversity, as defined in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, means the variety and variability of organisms at the level of species, individuals, genes, interactions and ecological processes between them and at the level of ecosystems. The concept of biodiversity, intraspecific, interspecific and ecosystemic, is not a simple concept. In fact, we often tend to confuse biodiversity with diversity.

Biodiversity represents the wealth of life forms on Earth.

The loss of biodiversity

The main causes of biodiversity loss are: climate change, pollution, degradation and fragmentation of habitats, the introduction of alien species, the consumption and impoverishment of the soil, the overexploitation of resources.

Although the disappearance of species is a natural phenomenon, the speed at which this phenomenon is occurring (that currently appears to be 100 to 1000 times faster than “natural” conditions), makes the loss of biodiversity the greatest environmental emergency of our time.

The value of biodiversity

Biodiversity has various direct, indirect and added values, such as: environmental value, social value, value of ecosystem services, economic value, final use value, productive use value, ethical and moral value, aesthetic value.

Biodiversity represents the most important resource of our planet’s natural systems, and all human activities depend on it, directly or indirectly.

In February 2022, the concept of biodiversity becomes part of the Fundamental Principles of the Italian Republic.  A unique constitutional amendment: it is the first time that one of the fundamental articles (articles 1 – 12) of the Constitution of the Italian Republic has been modified.

The renewed article 9 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic reads as follows:

“The Republic promotes the development of culture and scientific and technical research. It protects the landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the nation. It protects the environment, biodiversity and ecosystems, also in the interests of future generations. State law regulates the ways and forms of animal protection.”

The approved legislative proposal also modified the art. 41, with the addition of the concepts of “health” and “environment”:

“Private economic initiative is free. It cannot take place in conflict with social utility or in a way that causes damage to safety, freedom, human dignity, health, the environment. The law determines the appropriate programs and controls so that public and private economic activity can be directed and coordinated for social and environmental objectives”.

In this view, in 2010, declared the “International Year of Biodiversity” by the United Nations, the World Biodiversity Association proposed Biodiversity Friend, the first certification for the conservation of biodiversity in agriculture.

Over the years the Biodiversity Friend Standard was subjected to several revisions and was developed in other sectors besides agriculture, in particular beekeeping, sustainable forest management, green area management and territory management.

Biodiversity Friend aims to harmonize production and conservation, the only way for a truly sustainable development capable of guaranteeing a future for the planet and for future generations.

In short, Biodiversity Friend promotes the culture of respect:

  • Respect for all life forms on the planet
  • Respect for the territory and the landscape
  • Respect for people’s health and well-being
  • Respect for those who came before us
  • And above all, respect for those who come after us