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  • Writer's pictureLynn

International Biodiversity Day--Cause to Celebrate!

We’re posting this piece ahead of schedule so that you can make a plan and be part of the plan to celebrate the International Day of Biodiversity on May 22.

International Biodiversity Day commemorates the adoption of the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity on May 22, 1992. While this designation was an important first step, this universal observance could use a boost. It may never be able to compete with 4th of July fireworks, but biodiversity deserves to be celebrated with a bang. So let’s throw a party for biodiversity!

Invite your friends to celebrate the value and role of all living things (yes, even pesky mosquitoes!) that inhabit our planet. Raise a glass in appreciation to all that biodiversity provides: clean air and water, fertile soils, and pollination…things we may take for granted but are vital to keep this party going. Don’t keep it a secret, more revelers mean more excited minds to fuel innovation and discovery, to find potential solutions to pressing challenges, including food security, climate change, and disease prevention.

These days it seems there's a national day of (insert your topic here) every day of the year. Besides being International Day of Biodiversity, May 22 is also known as International Being You Day, World Goth Day, and World Paloma Day—had to google that one! However, International Day of Biodiversity was specifically designated by the United Nations General Assembly back in 2010 to halt biodiversity loss by 2050. Official international days serve as reminders of global problems, celebrate human achievements, and memorialize unthinkable tragedies. They highlight issues related to peace, development, human rights, justice, and humanitarian action.

The theme for Biodiversity Day 2024 is “Be part of the Plan.” Don’t just read about it; do something about it. Let this year be your call to action to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by supporting the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, also referred to as the Biodiversity Plan. Perhaps you don’t visualize yourself as a crusader, but you can be the neighborhood weekend warrior who rallies the troops. You can do something to make a difference, no matter how small you think it might be! If you’re lucky enough to live near the ocean, why not promote a citizen science cleanup along a coastline or even underwater and record and submit your data using Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell app? How about organizing a fundraising campaign or advocating policy change for a place dear to your heart? If you're not an organizer (no judgment), take the opportunity to reconnect with nature for the day! Bring binoculars, a magnifier and your phone along on a walk, hike, or picnic. Use the iNaturalist app to explore and share your observations with a community of like-minded people. You can also create more awareness about the value of biodiversity in your area by sharing on social media. Posting a photo or video showcasing nature's beauty is a simple way to draw attention to this important subject.

Here on Saba, we will celebrate not only throughout the month of May but throughout the year. May is Wellness & Rejuvenation month and offers a myriad of activities that celebrate our symbiotic relationship between nature, physical well-being and mental health, inviting everyone to indulge in a harmonious celebration of healthy living to revitalize your body and soul!

Photo Credit: Mauricio Handler

Saba shows great biological diversity and supports countless endemic species and ecosystems. Ecosystems range from dry scrub forests to tropical rainforests and elfin forests. Furthermore, our surrounding waters are rich in marine biodiversity. The Exclusive Economic Zone around Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten encompasses the entire Saba Bank, which is the largest submerged coral atoll in the Atlantic Ocean and has some of the richest marine biodiversity in the Caribbean Sea. New species of fish, coral and algae that have never been described before are discovered here on a regular basis.

When we raise our glass (whether champagne or a beetroot smoothie) for biodiversity, we honor not only the beauty but also the complexity of nature while recognizing our interconnectedness with all living beings-- inspiring us to take care of this planet with care and respect for generations to come. Cheers!

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