STINAPA Celebrates the International Day of Biodiversity–May 22, 2015
To celebrate the International Day of Biodiversity, STINAPA has extended an open invitation to those interested to join them at their Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival at Washington Slagbaai National Park at 9:00 AM on Saturday, May 23rd, 2015. After a short presentation, the group will enjoy some birdwatching at Gotomeer.
Participants should bring good walking or hiking shoes, water, and binoculars (if possible). Participation is free, and the event is anticipated to take about two hours.
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. 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.
For additional information about biodiversity, visit the web site of the Convention on Biological Diversity by clicking here. (Source: STINAPA)