Brazil kick starts the IYB
11 January 2010, Curitiba (Brazil). Brazil, one of the world’s most diverse countries, convened an international event to launch the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) on 8 January. The celebration took place at the margins of the Second Curitiba Meeting on Cities and Biodiversity which was attended by 95 participants, including representatives of 18 cities from around the world and the national focal points for the Convention on Biological Diversity from Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.
Other participants included specialists in urban biodiversity and green infrastructure, NGOs and ICLEI. Aside from Mayor Beto Richa of Curitiba, attending authorities included Acting Minister of Environment Izabella Teixeira of Brazil, Minister Mah Bow Tan of Singapore and Ms. Kobie Brant, ICLEI Director for the African region.
Since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, Brazil has been a champion in promoting the biodiversity agenda. The CBD was opened for signature at the Earth Summit and Curitiba hosted the historic Biodiversity Summit in 2007 that ushered in a new phase of enhanced implementation of the three objectives of the Convention, as underlined by the Executive Secretary of the CBD, Ahmed Djoghlaf. He also added that “this important international year signals a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to raise global awareness of the crucial importance of biodiversity for our health, our wealth, our food, indeed for our life.”
This ceremony is one of many celebrations which will culminate next October at the Biodiversity Summit in Nagoya, Japan, with the adoption by the Parties to the Convention of a new Strategic Plan for the period 2011-2020 as well as a longer-term vision for managing biodiversity.
Events to launch the IYB will be held in every region of the world. India held its launch on 4 January and many others are planned in the weeks to come. The official global launch is being held in Berlin today, organized by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Read more on the IYB.