International Bioderversity Day
“If we do not change track, all of humanity will be affected. We need to take decisive action to halt the loss of biodiversity above and below ground. At present, the people most affected are rural communities who depend on nature to meet their day-to-day needs, but the eventual effects will be far more widespread”; remarked Ambassador Jan Sadek, Head of Delegation to Botswana and SADC on occasion of the commemoration of the International Day for Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth which underpins ecosystem services – the processes that sustain life and which nature provides for free. Biodiversity loss undermines the foundations of economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life around the globe.
The world has lost 60% of all vertebrate wildlife populations since 1970. This process is fuelled by habitat loss and global patterns of production and consumption. The people most affected today live in rural communities that depend on nature to meet their daily needs, but the eventual consequences will affect humanity as a whole.
The EU recently launched Biodiversity Strategy 2030, a comprehensive long-term plan to protect nature and reverse the degradation of ecosystems. This strategy aims to put Europe’s biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030 for the benefit of people, the climate and the planet.
The EU is contributing at least € 16 million in climate action in the SADC region to address the effects of climate change and to prepare for future incidents. Biodiversity loss and the climate crisis are closely connected. Protecting biodiversity and restoring ecosystems is an excellent means of countering the effects of climate change.
Through €1.5 million in support to eco-tourism development in Botswana, the EU is promoting wildlife and biodiversity conservation while improving the welfare and livelihoods of local communities.
Endowed with unique ecosystems and rich biodiversity, Botswana is a strong promoter of conservation. Commemoration of the 2021 International Day for Biodiversity is an opportunity to create awareness about the importance of biological diversity and to renew commitments for protection of biodiversity in the run-up to the October 2021 Convention on Biodiversity in Kunming, China.