The United Nations declared 2010 the international year of biodiversity to raise awareness of the importance of biological diversity. Throughout the year countless international and local initiatives will be organised, focusing mostly on nature and safeguarding the variety of life on earth.
At the beginning of February, the international conference on biodiversity “2010 Calls for New Biodiversity Targets” was held in Trondheim, Norway. Experts from all over the world summarised the work done so far for the protection of biodiversity.
Lauri Klein, adviser on biological diversity at the Estonian Environment Information Centre of the Ministry of the Environment, also participated in the conference. “It was acknowledged at the conference that countries and nations have made efforts to conserve and restore biodiversity. However, this has not yielded the desired results. Main dangers to biodiversity are habitat destruction and fragmentation, changes in land use, excessive consumption of natural resources, uneconomical utilization of natural resources (e.g. overfishing), non-native species, pollution and climate change,” commented Klein.
The conference held in Norway was aimed at finding solutions how to reduce and stop harm done to nature before countless ecosystems have been altered irreversibly. “Conference participants emphasised the importance of biodiversity in solving issues related to both economic and climate change,” said Klein. One possible solution suggested was to set the conservation of biodiversity as one of the most important conditions to be observed in agriculture, fishing, energy, transport, etc. Quick action is needed to prevent forest destruction, over-exploitation of natural resources and introduction of non-native species; whereas it was stressed that natural treasures must also be valued from economic perspectives.
The same topic was also discussed at a conference held in Madrid at the end of January, focusing on protected areas and green networks. At the conference, Spain, presiding festively over the EU, ceremonially declared the year of biodiversity open, introducing Europe’s aims in protecting biodiversity. For example, one of the aims of 2020 is to take species and habitat of European significance into good conservation condition. Professor Mart Külvik from the Estonian University of Life Sciences was also present at the conference.
The biggest event of the biodiversity year is the Convention on Biological Diversity’s 10th Conference of the Parties to be held in the city of Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010. At this conference, international guidelines of biodiversity policy after 2010 shall be established.
Estonia joined to Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994 and celebrates the international year of biodiversity together with the rest of the world. This year is also special for Estonian nature conservation in that it will be one hundred years since the establishment of the first protected area. Thus, the year 2010 is that of nature conservation in Estonia and the Ministry of the Environment calls for valuing biological diversity around us. Read more: http://www.envir.ee/1111672.
2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity