The United Nations 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.

2011 International Day for Biological Diversity

“Forest Biodiversity: Earth’s Living Treasure”

Forests contain some of our planet’s most vibrant ecosystems, displaying a wondrous variety of birds, animals, and plants. Forests are the basis for more than 5,000 products, from aromatic oil distilled from leaves to herbal medicines, fuel, food, furniture and clothing; they prevent soil erosion and help to regulate the climate; they provide clean water; they inspire us in art, research and religion; and they are essential to the survival and well-being of people everywhere—all 7 billion of us. Yet, the world’s forests are facing immense pressures and challenges. Key findings from the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 show that while deforestation has slowed somewhat in recent years as compared to the 1990s, it is still alarmingly high.

Continued deforestation has resulted in carbon emissions, shortages in water and food supply, and an unprecedented loss of biodiversity. But the world is not standing idly by. Governments, international organizations and forest stakeholder groups are taking action—to find ways of conserving and sustainably managing forests for the benefit of present and future generations.

This is why the United Nations declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests (Forests 2011), and why forests are the theme of the International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May 2011. In this special year, the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are working together to highlight the importance of forest biodiversity to humankind. The theme for Forests 2011 is “Forests for People”, celebrating of the central role of people in the management, conservation, and sustainable development of our world’s forests.

Ethiopia’s Celebration of the IDB

Date: 24 May 2011

Venue: Gion Hotel, Saba Hall


  • Opening remark
  • Songs, Drama, Poems
  • Presentations of Scientific Articles
  • Panel Discussion
  • Plenary Discussion

For further information: Abiyot Berhanu

  • Tel. 0911120725
  • E-mail: