Biological diversity is a broad term that includes the genetic diversity within a specie and variety of species as well as the range of communities and ecosystems. Basically it is variety of life on earth. Biological diversity resources are the pillars upon which we build civilization. But unfortunately due to agronomic activities biological diversity is rapidly declining that ultimately threatens the nature and people alike. Due to these circumstances and international Day of biological diversity seeks to increase awareness and highlight the importance of biodiversity and global issues on biodiversity loss.

First international Day for biological diversity was created by UN General Assembly in 1993. Originally this day was proclaimed on December 29 but in December 2003 UN General assembly changed the date to may 22 to avoid clashing with the various international holidays in late December. CBD decides at theme for this day every year. This year biological diversity Day is being celebrated under the theme "we are part of the solution". MS team creates to continue momentum generated from the last year theme "our solutions are in nature".


 This day seeks to achieve the global understanding and awareness about the issues, loss and importance of protecting biological diversity. The purpose of selected theme is to emphasize on working together at all levels to build a sustainable living future in harmony with nature. Mainly this day is dedicated to protect the biological resources and global biodiversity.

Threats to biodiversity:

Decline of species are the result of combination of factors.

·         Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in 2019 by IPBES stated that the main global drivers of biodiversity are climate change, invasive alien species, over exploration of natural resources, pollution and urbanization.

·         The global report elaborate that human activities are responsible for 75% of biodiversity loss in terrestrial ecosystems.

·         As concerned for landuse, 85% of wetlands and 75% of land surface across the world has been altered.

·         Up to 1 million species are threatened with extinction.

·         33% of marine fish stock harvested unsustainably.

Importance of biological diversity:

Biological diversity is the backbone of survival on earth with uncountable intrinsic and instrumental values.

·         Plants provides over 80% of human diet.

·         According to IPBES; 3-4th of food crops rely on animal pollination.

·         4 billion people primarily rely on natural medicines.

Scenario of Pakistan:

Pakistan possess a variety of world's ecological regions due to its immense latitudinal and altitudinal variations. Arid and semi arid regions possess significant portion of biodiversity in 80% land area of the country. But unfortunately during the last 2-3 decades Pakistan's biodiversity is under immense pressure due to over exploitation of natural habitats.

Further more factors like deforestation, overgrazing, soil erosion, salinity and waterlogging are causing major threats to the remaining biodiversity and nation's other natural and agricultural ecosystems. Therefore protected areas system has been established in country for in situ conservation of biodiversity.

Need for Action:

Loss of biological diversity is a matter of concern because they possess such intrinsic and instrumental values that are self-explanatory. All the assessment indicates that solutions existed if we consider them seriously for taking action; as we are the part of solution.

We have to invest in biodiversity from every aspect, as it can strengthen the adaptive capacity of food systems to provide healthy and relevant nutrition for sustaining life.

Biological Diversity Legislation:

·         The objective of halting biodiversity loss and promoting sustainable use of ecosystems are included in sustainable development goal 15.

·         Red list is created by IUCN in 1964 for highlighting the threatened species.

·         CITES treaty 1970 is adopted by 150 countries for controlling international trade of wild fauna and flora.

·         Convention on biological diversity (CBD) 1992 has been designed for conservation and sustainable use and the equitable sharing of benefits for biological resources.

·         In Pakistan, National Conservation Strategy (NCS), Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (PEPA) and Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) are working for conservation of biological diversity.

What to do?

To halt these losses, it is compulsory to transform people's roles, actions and relationships with biodiversity because all efforts to reverse the loss would be of no value without local participation. There is a need for all governments, local communities and NGOs to work together on comprehensive plans for biodiversity conservation.

As the part of solution local communities should be involved and further support should be obtained from relevant institutions in sustainable use initiative. Success in this matter begins with the determination of individuals and coordinated efforts on every scale and also involving the work of both scientists and policymakers.

Protection demands stepping back to look over the picture, seeing how people relate to the rest of natural world and examining how we can do so in more sustainable ways.

About the Author: Sidra Shehzadi has graduated in environmental science from GCWUS. She is keen about environment and interested in writing blogs to raise awareness about the environmental issues and express her views about their solutions.