A Day for Biodiversity
The United Nations has declared that May 22 is Biodiversity Day. The goal this year is to publicize biodiversity. After studying the text of the UN Convention on Biodiversity, I believe that the UN is doing little or nothing for biodiversity. I have studied plants and animals for many years. What I’ve seen, and what others report, is that all of nature is in steep decline. Humans are the cause. I fear that people might be led to believe that the United Nations is taking effective action to protect biodiversity. It is not.
The theme of the UN Convention on Biodiversity is sustainable development. It’s text has lofty goals with vague strategies for their attainment. The text makes clear the Convention’s desire for acceptance by even the most growth oriented government. Each Article begins with phrases such as: “Each Contracting Party shall, in accordance with its particular conditions and capabilities. . . .” and this: “Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate. . . .” Since human desires are the conditions that define what is appropriate, the phrases prohibit no “contractor” from full-bore growth and development if they say that these are needed to provide jobs and improved standards of living.
This is the UN’s definition of the Convention:
Signed by 150 government leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the Convention on Biological Diversity is dedicated to promoting sustainable development. Conceived as a practical tool for translating the principles of Agenda 21 into reality, the Convention recognizes that biological diversity is about more than plants, animals and micro organisms and their ecosystems – it is about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment in which to live (United Nations).
Biodiversity is definitely not about the needs of only one species. It is a general term that gives equal importance to all species. By placing humans ahead of all other species, the Convention’s definition replaces biological validity with the human bias that is destroying the Earth.
This year’s meeting focus is on promoting biodiversity. The meetings never do much more than report on small achievements. They serve as an opportunity to search for funding for their development-friendly activities and they let governments reward their environmental managers with a two-week vacation in an international resort.
Homo sapiens’ unrelenting rape of the Earth and the rapid decline of biodiversity is taking us toward the greatest mass extinction of all time. No one has found an effective means to stop this. In 1992, the United Nations decided to formalize their support for continued devastation by sugar-coating human impacts with the term “sustainable.” A genuine Biodiversity Day would focus on curtailing human:
- Population growth
- Habitat destruction
- Material aspirations
Over and over, our leading biologists call for emergency responses to our impacts on the Earth. This blog has more than a thousand well-reasoned warnings and suggestions related to biodiversity. However, biodiversity decline continues. What do we do? Even as our impacts grow beyond the hope of remediation, our environmental managers lay by the pool sipping rum punch, eying the pretty young servers, and discussing funding proposals and plans for more meetings.
What can we do for biodiversity?
I intend to look for ways to oppose development, call for population control, live a simpler life, and learn more about plants and animals.