Nature News

Biodiversity: the foundation for sustainable development

People are an integral part of nature. The future we want needs to be based on living in harmony with nature so that it can sustain present and future generations. – Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, CBD Executive Secretary

May 22 is the international day of Biodiversity. STINAPA would like to focus your attention on this important day.
Humanity’s fate is tightly linked with biological diversity – the variety of life on earth. Biodiversity is essential for sustainable development and human well-being. The examples are plenty:

• Biodiversity is a vital asset in global and local economies. Biodiversity directly supports major economic activity and jobs in such diverse sectors as agriculture, fisheries, forestry, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, cosmetics, horticulture, construction and biotechnology.
• Food production depends on biodiversity and the services provided by ecosystems. The thousands of different crop varieties and animal breeds are founded in the rich genetic pool of species. Biodiversity is also the basis for soil fertility, pollination, pest control and all aspects important for producing the world’s food.
• Clean and secure supplies of water also depend on biodiversity. Ecosystems function as natural water infrastructure, costing less than technological solutions. Forests protect water supplies, wetlands regulate floods, and healthy soils increase water and nutrient availability for crops and help reduce off-farm impacts.
• Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning provide goods and services essential for human health – including nutrients, clean air and water and regulation of pests and vector-based diseases. Biodiversity is essential for the regulation of the immune response. Biodiversity is the basis of traditional medicine, and a large number of top-ranking global prescription drugs contain components derived from plant extracts.
• Biodiversity is the basis for sustainable livelihoods. Benefits of biodiversity are especially important to poor and vulnerable groups. To many, the goods and services derived from biodiversity directly constitute social safety nets and can mean the difference between misery and well-being.
• Biodiversity plays a major role in mitigating climate change by contributing to long-term sequestration of carbon in a number of biomes. Biodiversity also underpins ecosystem resilience and plays a critical role as part of disaster risk reduction and peace-building strategies. Forests, wetlands and mangroves play a critical role in reducing the impacts of extreme events such as droughts, floods and tsunamis.
• Green areas in cities reduce the incidence of violence, enhance human health and well-being, and strengthen communities. Despite these facts, biodiversity is being lost at a greatly accelerated rate, largely due to human activities.
From the website of Convention on Biological Diversity

To celebrate world biodiversity day we invite you to our Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival at the Washington Park at 9 am on Saturday May 23rd. . Afterwards we take you birdwatching at Goto meer. Please bring good shoes, water and if possible your own binoculars.