UN-Dekade Biologische Vielfalt von 2011 bis 2020
The United Nations have declared the international UN Decade on Biodiversity from 2011 until 2010. This decade offers the huge opportunity to increase the public awareness for the protection of biodiversity which forms the natural basis of our lives.
“When we talk about Germany, it has never been more important to campaign for natural biodiversity now and in the future. For years I have been travelling through the wildest forests, moors, heathlands and rivers of our country and have witnessed how endangered biodiversity is. Randomly placed energy facilities or an unbalanced intense agriculture without hedges but with monotonous corn or rape fields do not offer a habitat for wildlife species and they don’t offer much recovery potential for people.
Without biodiversity in forests, moors and lakes the country will become purely technically oriented and boring. Is that what we want? Do future generations want that? Where in Germany would we be going on holidays? I unconditionally support the preservation of biodiversity.”
What does “biodiversity” mean and why do we need it?
Biodiversity is all that contributes to the diversity of living nature: different species of animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms. This includes interactions with the abiotic environment, within and across different species as well as genetic diversity within the species and the diversity of the habitats. Wildlife species as well as livestock breeds and cultivated plants form part of biodiversity.
Biodiversity is the basis of securing long-term survival of human life on earth. There are many ecological, economic, social, cultural and ethnic reasons for its conservation: an intact biodiversity is far better able to adapt to changing environmental conditions, an important prerequisite in the face of worldwide climate change.
Economically significant achievements of nature are for example the self-purification capacity of waters, the air purification through the filtration performance of trees or the natural soil fertility. Many important industries as well as countless jobs in agriculture and forestry, fishing, tourism and healthcare depend directly or indirectly on an intact and diverse biosphere. Aspects of experiencing nature, recreational activities and quality of life of the living environment speak in favour of a sustainable conservation of biodiversity.
Which are the main objectives of the UN Decade for Biodiversity?
Biodiversity is decreasing worldwide and also in Germany. The current extinction rate exceeds the estimated natural rate by 100 - 1,000 times and is caused by human activity. The international community has realized that vigorous countermeasures have to be taken against the loss of biodiversity. Hence 1992 the UN Convention on Biological Diversity was passed. Germany is contracting member state of this convention. From 01/11/2011 until the end of 2020 there is additionally the UN Decade for Biodiversity.
With the Nationalen Strategie zur biologischen Vielfalt (national strategy for biodiversity) an encompassing and challenging strategy for the implementation of the UN Convention regarding biodiversity exists in Germany since 2007. The strategy contains the goals until 2020 and presents a programme for society as a whole (www.biologischevielfalt.de).
The implementation and dialogue process of this national strategy also serves the objectives of the UN Decade for Biodiversity. Additionally, within the framework of the UN decade further initiatives are now being launched in order to promote public awareness regarding the value of biodiversity and the responsibility for the protection and the sustainable use of its elements.