22 May 2019
Every year on 22 May, the world celebrates the International Day for Biological Diversity. This year’s theme “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health” highlights the fundamental significance of biodiversity for our food and health, as well as its role for food system transforming and health improvement.Biodiversity is the living fabric of our planet. It underpins human wellbeing in the present and in the future, and its rapid decline threatens nature and people alike. According to reports released in 2018 by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the main global drivers of biodiversity loss are climate change, invasive species, over-exploitation of natural resources, pollution and urbanization.
To halt or reverse this decline it is vital to transform people’s roles, actions and relationships with biodiversity. In this regard, UNESCO supports and promotes biodiversity conservation through the “Man and the Biosphere” intergovernmental scientific programme, launched in 1971. To date, this programme includes 686 biosphere reserves in 122 countries, ten of which, including the first in Central Asia transboundary biosphere reserve (TBR) “Great Altai", are located in Kazakhstan.
UNESCO biosphere reserves in Kazakhstan work not only to save different species of animals and plants, but also to conserve unique ecosystems, as well as to promote local products, capitalizing on local and traditional knowledge.
For example, the Katon-Karagay biosphere reserve in the East Kazakhstan region, being part of the Great Altai TBR, makes a significant contribution to the production of environmentally friendly products to maintain public health. Local communities living on the territory of the biosphere reserve are engaged in collecting mushrooms, berries, nuts and medicinal herbs, as well as beekeeping and maral breeding. They also produce a variety of traditional tinctures, medicinal ointments, oils, mountain berry jams, honey, local koumiss and saumal, as well as pantohematogen used in medicine.
Permanent link: http://en.unesco.kz/international-day-for-biological-diversity