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International Day for Biological Diversity: From China to the world


International Day for Biological Diversity: From China to the world

May 22 commemorates the International Day for Biological Diversity, a poignant reminder of the critical significance of biodiversity and the imperative to safeguard and restore it.

Biodiversity serves as the cornerstone for addressing a range of challenges, from climate and health issues to ensuring food and water security, and fostering sustainable livelihoods. It provides the foundation for implementing nature-based solutions and rebuilding in a more resilient and sustainable manner.

China, a country with some of the richest biological resources in the world, has put biodiversity conservation high on its domestic policy agenda amid efforts to achieve harmony between humans and nature and foster green, eco-friendly and sustainable growth.

An increasing number of rare and endangered animals are frequently spotted in China's vast territory, demonstrating the country's endeavor in reversing species loss.

According to surveys by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA), the total population of wild giant pandas has increased from approximately 1,100 in the 1980s to over 1,900 today. Data also shows that the population of milu deer has increased rapidly, from 77 in the 1980s to over 10,000 in 2022.

Known as the world's rarest primate, Hainan gibbons have been listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. NFGA's data shows that the Hainan gibbon population jumped from less than 10 in the 1980s to 37 in six groups as of 2023, 

The population of crested ibises, which originated in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, has increased from less than a dozen in the 1980s to 10,000 in the world, of which over 9,000 are in China, recorded by NFGA's survey.

Asian elephants, which numbered approximately 180 in the 1980s, surpassed 300 in 2023, according to the survey by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

In December 2022, the world came together and agreed on a global plan to transform our relationship with nature. The adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, also known as The Biodiversity Plan, sets goals and concrete measures to stop and reverse the loss of nature by 2050.

According to UN's latest data, three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66 percent of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions, and 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.

The theme for this year's International Day for Biological Diversity is "Be Part of the Plan," which serves as a rallying call to action. It urges governments, indigenous peoples, local communities, non-governmental organizations, lawmakers, businesses and individuals to showcase their contributions toward the implementation of The Biodiversity Plan.

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