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International Biodiversity Day (22 May)
May 23, 2015

Biodiversity encompasses the variety of all life on earth. The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. When first created by the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly in late 1993, 29 December (the date of entry into force of the Convention of Biological Diversity), was designated The International Day for Biological Diversity.


In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted 22 May as IDB, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity. This was partly done because it was difficult for many countries to plan and carry out suitable celebrations for the date of 29 December, given the number of holidays that coincide around that time of year.

  • The Theme for this year is Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.

Biodiversity of India

  • India is one of the 17 mega biodiversity countries of the world.

  • With only 2.5% of the land area, India accounts for 7.8% of the recorded species of the world.

  • Biodiversity in India is mainly recognized at three levels:

    (i) Species levels,

    (ii) Genetic level and

    (iii) Ecosystem level.

  • Biogeographically, India is situated at the tri-junction of the Afro-tropical, the Indo-Malayan and the Palearctic realms and possesses a unique assemblage of characteristic elements of biodiversity of each of them.

  • According to surveys conducted so far, 45,500 species of plants and 91,200 species of animals are found in India. 

In India the Biological Diversity Act 2002 was born out of India's attempt to realise the objectives enshrined in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 1992 which recognizes the sovereign rights of states to use their own Biological Resources. 

The Act aims at the conservation of biological resources and associated knowledge as well as facilitating access to them in a sustainable manner and through a just process for purposes of implementing the objects of the Act it establishes the National Biodiversity Authority in Chennai.


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