2010 International Year of Biodiversity
Biodiversity plays a vital part in our everyday life and in maintaining the life support system on Earth. It has a key role in nature’s many ecosystems. Humans rely on this diversity of life to provide us with the food, fuel, medicine and other essentials we simply cannot live without. It is also important for our mental well-being. Biodiversity has greatly contributed to and inspired our cultures, history and arts and enriches our lives on a spiritual and emotional level. Yet this rich diversity is being lost at an alarming rate. Scientists estimate that between 150 and 200 species become extinct every 24 hours. This loss of biodiversity is due, in large measure, to human activity. Over the past 50 years, a growing human population, together with an ever-increasing demand for food and other resources, has put great pressure on the natural environment.
The United Nations has designated 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) to celebrate the importance of biodiversity and highlight the different threats facing this irreplaceable natural wealth across the globe. The International Year is an opportunity to celebrate progress made so far in protecting biodiversity, but also to recognise that we need to do more to promote creative solutions to reduce threats to biodiversity.
UNESCO is a lead partner in the International Year and is organising a number of events and initiatives to mark it.
The UK National Commission for UNESCO has joined over 200 UK partner organisations in the IYB-UK network to promote the understanding of biodiversity.
As part of this work, the UK National Commission has produced an information pack for members of UNESCO Associated Schools in the UK. The pack includes practical suggestions for how schools can celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity and examples of how UNESCO helps protect biodiversity in the UK, including case studies from UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and natural World Heritage Sites which have distinct biodiversity.
Download a pdf copy of the information pack from the document sidebar. A limited number of hard copies of the pack are available for schools. Please contact lvincent[at]unesco.org.uk.
The IYB competition, organised by the UK National Commission to celebrate the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, attracted 114 entries from across the UK. The competition was open to primary and secondary schools. Students were asked to create eye-catching awareness raising campaigns that promoted the International Year and carried the key messages about the importance of biodiversity.
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- IYB Competition
- The winners of the International Year of Biodiversity Competition have now been announced. Alice Grey, from Port Ellen Primary School on the Isle of Islay in Scotland took the top prize for primary school entries, while Shannon Church, Imogen Hale and Katie Lipscombe from St John’s School in Marlborough won the secondary school category.