International Biodiversity Day (IBD) is a United Nations sanctioned international day to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. This year we are celebrating the day on the theme “We are part of the solution”. Biological diversity is the miraculous result of life’s evolution over billions of years. Biodiversity and the ecosystem services that it provides underpin our economies and our civilizations. Healthy biodiversity is not a luxury – it is the foundation of all life on earth.
Of late, the world has suffered enough climate, hunger, disaster and healthcare crisis, however observing the International Biodiversity Day is a reminder that biodiversity conservation is the foundation on which we can all build back better. The theme “We are part of the solution” aims to leverage knowledge and spread awareness on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. The day also celebrates the diversity provided by our natural systems for human existence and well-being on Earth, while contributing to other Sustainable Development Goals, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, ecosystems restoration, cleaner water and zero hunger, among others.
On this day the National Biodiversity Centre (NBC), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests will be inaugurating the Biodiversity Interpretation Centre at the Royal Botanical Garden Serbithang, which is a one-stop hub that provides an overview of Bhutan’s biodiversity. The term “interpretation” broadly refers to educational activities used in places like zoos, museums, heritage sites and national parks, to tell visitors about the significance or meaning of what they are experiencing.
The Biodiversity Interpretation Centre will support the achievement of national biodiversity goal of “Increasing awareness on values of biodiversity” as it is the only facility in the country. The improved interpretation facilities and education programs is expected to increase visits from the schools, which in turn will lead to increased awareness and care for biodiversity, nurturing the youth into environmentally conscious citizen.
In addition, Bhutan Biodiversity Portal User Manual will also be launched to mark the day. The User Manual will provide step-by-step guidance to the registered users of the Portal. Currently, the portal has more than 65,000 observations uploaded by 1,700 registered users. Bhutan Biodiversity Portal is an online one-stop platform for Bhutan’s biodiversity information.