Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The United Nations officially launched the International Year of Biodiversity this week. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called the failure to protect the world’s natural resources a “wake-up call” and urged each country and each person to engage in a global alliance to protect life on Earth. The legal treaty that provides focus for the year (and many teaching opportunities for international law professors) is the the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which entered into force at the end of 1993 and now has 193 parties. The Biodiversity Convention is based on the premise that the world's diverse ecosystems purify the air and the water, stabilize and moderate the Earth's climate, renew soil fertility, cycle nutrients and pollinate plants.
The first major event of the International Year of Biodiversity is scheduled to be a high-profile meeting on January 21-22 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
(Adapted from a UN Press Release)