International Day for Biological Diversity May 22


Every year on May 22nd, the International Day for Biological Diversity seeks to increase awareness and understanding of biodiversity issues.

The term biodiversity stems from two different words: biological and diversity. It refers to the variety of life on Earth. The three types of biodiversity include:

  • Genetic diversity
  • Species diversity
  • Ecosystem diversity

Biodiversity is very important for many reasons. It supplies the earth with clean water and oxygen. Biodiversity also enables plants to grow, which produces food for humans and animals. Other benefits of biodiversity is that it keeps pests and diseases in check and protects against flooding. It also helps to regulate the climate. Together, all of these benefits are known as ecosystem services.

The health of the earth suffers when biodiversity decreases. It’s also true of humans. The less biodiversity, the poorer our health becomes. Some even believe that pandemics are related to the loss of biodiversity. Now more than ever, we need to spread awareness for the importance of biodiversity.

HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalDayForBiologicalDiversity

Scientists, conservationists, and environmentalists hold an array of events on this day. These events include seminars, conferences, and roundtable discussions. The UN Secretary and the UN President give special messages to the general public. The UN also highlights stories and videos that discuss the importance of biological diversity.

To participate:

  • Think about ways biodiversity affects your life.
  • Watch a movie that features biodiversity issues, such as Seven Worlds One Planet, River of Gold, Call of Life, and No Vacancy.
  • Learn ways you can help to protect the earth.
  • Donate to a conservation organization like The Nature Conservatory or The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Spread awareness for this day on social media with #InternationalDayForBiologicalDiversity or #IDB.


The UN General Assembly created the International Day for Biological Diversity in 1993. The original date was December 29th. Due to the busy holiday season, many countries could not focus their time and energy on planning events for this day. In 2000, the UN General Assembly changed the date to May 22nd.

Some of the most recent themes have included:

2020: Our Solutions Are In Nature
2019: Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health
2018: Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity
2017: Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism
2016: Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and Their Livelihoods
2015: Biodiversity for Sustainable Development