International Day for Biological Diversity

May 22 - International Biological Diversity Day.

On December 20, 2000, the UN General Assembly declared May 22 the International Day for Biological Diversity (Resolution 55/201).

Biodiversity is the basis of life. Its preservation is necessary for human existence. Unfortunately, the intensity of the use of components of biodiversity leads to the depletion and exhaustion of natural resources: numerous species and ecosystems are disappearing and are threatened with extinction, the threat to the genetic fund is constantly growing, and so on.

In 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity was signed in Rio de Janeiro. The term "biodiversity" refers to the totality of all species of living organisms (from bacteria to mammals), of which humans are an integral part. The main purpose of the Convention is to preserve biological diversity at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ratified the Convention on November 29, 1994, and adopted a number of laws on ratification, accession and implementation of other international treaties of binding and non-binding nature, regulating the conservation and use of biological and landscape diversity. At the national level, coordination of the implementation of the provisions of laws and relevant programs is carried out by the National Commission for Biodiversity Conservation and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine.

The rate of extinction of rare species is extremely high.

Over the past 400 years, the planet has lost about 100 species of vertebrates. At present, about 22,000 species of plants and animals are on the verge of extinction. Endangered species are those whose numbers are rapidly declining or have already reached a critical level within their range.

In Ukraine, as a result of management, especially over the last century, landscapes and habitats have changed significantly. The area occupied by natural groups has sharply decreased - up to 29%, including forests - up to 14.3% of the territory of the country, the steppe was practically destroyed as a natural biome, the hydrological conditions of the territory underwent significant changes due to the construction of lowland hydropower plants and creation of reservoirs, drainage of Polissya swamps and flooding of the steppe. There is anthropogenic pollution of large areas, including heavy metals, radionuclides, persistent organic compounds, there are manifestations of devastation and synanthropization of ecosystems, which threatens the loss of gene, price and ecofund.

At the same time, Ukraine has a rich biota, which includes more than 25 thousand species of plants (5100 vascular plants, more than 15 thousand fungi and mucous membranes, more than 1 thousand lichens, almost 800 mosses and about 4 thousand algae) and 45 thousand animal species (more than 35 thousand insects, almost 3.5 thousand other arthropods, 1800 protozoa, 1600 roundworms, 1280 flatworms and 440 annelid worms among more than 44 thousand invertebrates, about 200 fish and cyclostomes, 17 amphibians, 21 reptiles, about 400 birds and 108 vertebrate mammals) and is characterized by a certain endemism and relictness.

The annual celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity is a great opportunity to reiterate the need to preserve biodiversity and to realize the responsibility for preserving this precious heritage for present and future generations.