Today is the International Day for Biological Diversity. The day is observed on the 22nd of May every year in order to increase the understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The theme of this year is, ‘Water and Biodiversity’.
The theme, ‘Water and Biodiversity’, has been chosen to coincide with the UN designation of 2013 as the International year of water cooperation. The theme speaks of the important role of biodiversity and ecosystems for water security, and therefore for sustainable development.
Biodiversity and the ecosystem influence the local, regional and global availability and quality of water. Forests help regulate soil erosion and protect water quality and supply. Wetlands can reduce flood risks. Soil biodiversity helps maintain water for crops. Integrating nature-based solutions into urban planning can also help us build better water futures for cities, where water stresses may be especially acute given the rapid pace of urbanization.
Water underpins human well-being and is absolutely necessary for food security, drinking and sanitation, economic activities, as well as securing ecosystem services.
The day also reminds us of the need to balance the needs of biodiversity conservation with those of protesting the livelihoods of millions of people across the globe.