In the wake of the recent focus of climate change, another global issue is set to be the focus of 2010.
Today IUCN Bangladesh, International Union for Conservation of Nature, is joining the world in celebrating biological diversity - the variety of life on earth. An official ceremony to launch the International Year of Biodiversity at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris today and will set the scene for a year dedicated to a diverse and sustainable world.
Professor Niaz Khan, Country Representative of IUCN Bangladesh, says “Biodiversity is the celebration of all life on earth and its conservation lies at the very core of IUCN’s work in Bangladesh.
“From the conservation of Asian elephants in Chittagong division, natural medicinal plants in the Hill Tracts, and native fish populations in Sunamganj, our work is dedicated to implementing strategies for the sustainable use of natural resources with the focus on effective conservation of biodiversity”.
IUCN Bangladesh is calling for ambitious but realistic biodiversity targets, which can be clearly measured and put into practice. It also wants more research on the status of biodiversity, more protected natural areas, on land and sea, and closer collaboration with the business community to find new ways of combining conservation and commerce.
“Most people appreciate the beauty of the natural world, but awareness of biodiversity, how seriously it is threatened, and the implications for human wellbeing, is alarmingly low. With mounting scientific evidence of a serious extinction crisis, it’s time to take action.
“We need to set higher goals to save the natural world. Greater public awareness of what’s at stake if we continue to disturb and destroy ecosystems is also considered to be a high priority” says Professor Khan.
As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity one of the obligations of Bangladesh is to undertake studies to identify and monitor threatened biodiversity.
IUCN Bangladesh together with its members and experts was responsible for the latest update of the national IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The survey showed that 40 species of mammals, 54 species of fish, 58 species of reptiles, 41 species of birds and 8 species of amphibians are under threat.