Monday, February 06, 2006

Green week: Biodiversity is life! 30 may-2 june 2006

Biological diversity - or biodiversity - embraces the variety of genes, species and ecosystems that constitute life on Earth. It stems from over 3000 million years of evolution.

Mankind - as a living being - is himself part of biodiversity, and human existence would be impossible without biodiversity. Biodiversity is crucial to the services' supplied by nature - the climate, the provision of water and air, soil fertility, the nutrients cycle and the production of food, fuel, fibre and medicines. Our economic competitiveness, employment, security, quality of life all depend on biodiversity.

Nevertheless, we are now witnessing a steady loss of biodiversity. This is of great concern from an emotional, cultural but also economic point of view. Indeed, many scientists consider the loss of biodiversity on a par with climate change in terms of the threat it poses to human societies.

Our responsibility for biodiversity extends well beyond our neighbourhood or even Europe. Indeed, our lifestyle relies heavily on the import of resources and goods from all over the world, often encouraging unsustainable exploitation of natural resources… and therefore loss of biodiversity.

In their endeavour to preserve and restore biodiversity, EU Heads of State and Government agreed 'to halt the loss of biodiversity [in the EU] by 2010' and to restore habitats and natural systems. This very challenging commitment reflects how strongly EU citizens feel about biodiversity.

Biodiversity loss is not inevitable. We must consider 2010 as a milestone and look even further ahead, acknowledge our intricate relationship with nature and strive for a more balanced form of development.

Green Week 2006 will direct the spotlight on four main components of our endeavour to halt biodiversity loss: biodiversity as a global issue, the management of natural resources, space for nature, and biodiversity and society.

Green Week will provide a unique opportunity for exchange of experience and best practice among non-governmental organisations, businesses, various levels of governance and the public. We hope to see you at Green Week and encourage your active participation in the debates.

visit Green Week web site


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