The United Nations (UN) in Zimbabwe joined the rest of the World in commemorating the World Biodiversity Day yesterday.
Biodiversity stretches from genetic diversity within a species of diversity within entire regions of ecosystems, encompassing micro- organisms, plants and animals.
Biological diversity is under threat due to a number of factors ranging from population growth, increase in resources consumption, over extraction as well as climate change among other factors therefore, governments, businesses and all people were urged to act to protect the nature that sustains livelihoods.
Dr Peggy Oti-Boateng, the Senior Programme Specialist for Natural Sciences, UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa said there was need to conserve the bio-diversity and improve sustainable management and use of biological resources.
She said it was UN’s aim to raise awareness on the sustainability of the environment and its inhabitants which will help the future generations.
“There is need to restore the natural state of the ecosystem. UNESCO in partnership with IBPS pledges to work together in promoting biodiversity through sustainable use of resources. It aims ensure that there is hormonal balance between human activities and naturals. Our organisation guarantees the providing of solutions in addressing biodiversity loss.
“UNESCO has been working to foster scientific knowledge and cooperation on biodiversity and ecosystems such as tropical forests,oceans,mountains through its Man and Biosphere(MAB) programme which advocates for the biosphere reserve concept” she said.
She added that biodiversity is a common good and a capital which can to transmit to future generations thereby it needs to be protected. Rapid deterioration in the state of biodiversity is setting diseases, drought and untold economic challenges to mankind.
In the speech read on her behalf by Dr Peggy Oti-Boateng, the Senior UN Programme specialist for Natural Scientists, Miss Audrey Azoulay, the Director General of UNESCO said it was vital to protect and restore ecosystems and ensure that there was access to ecosystem services that are necessary for the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger.
Miss Azoulay emphasised that protecting the biodiversity of forests and watersheds supports clean and plentiful water supplies. This year she said, this year Parties to the Convention will begin work on a new action plan to ensure that by 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used for the benefit of all people
Anne Madzara, the UNDP Head Unit Poverty Reduction, Environment and Climate Change said they were implementing a project of strengthening biodiversity and ecosystems in Mid to Lower Zambezi Region of Zimbabwe aims focuses on reducing key threats for wildlife, habitat, and livelihoods of local communities.
“The project seeks to promote an integrated landscape approach to managing wildlife resources, carbon and ecosystem services in the face of climate change in the protected areas and community lands.
“We hope to support the government of Zimbabwe over the next coming years as we aim to strengthen the capacities of law enforcement agencies to fight forestry and wildlife crimes. UNDP will apply inter acting developed activities in partnership with other UN agencies in promoting biodiversity as well as addressing biodiversity loss.”
A representative from Environmental Management Agency pointed out that there was need for the development of innovative financing mechanisms to provide a sustainable and readily accessible financial base to support biodiversity initiatives
The International Biodiversity day was proclaimed by the UN Assembly at its 55th session in 2000 in honuor of the adoption of the text of the Convention of Biological Diversity and was declared to be celebrated on the 22nd of May every year.