One School, One Tree, One Gift to Nature

International Day for Biological Diversity 2010

The 2010 theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity is biodiversity, development and poverty alleviation. Development means that all people have the opportunity to live a good life, without hunger, misery, danger, illness and illiteracy. Development should be sustainable so that future generations can also live good lives.

Biodiversity is key to reducing poverty because it provides people with basic ecosystem goods and services. It provides goods such as food, fibre and medicine and services such as air and water purification, climate regulation, erosion control and nutrient cycling.

Biodiversity also plays an important role in economic sectors that drive development, including agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism. More than 3 billion people rely on marine and coastal biodiversity, and 1.6 billion people rely on forests and non-timber forest products (e.g. the fruits from trees) for their livelihoods. Many people depend directly on the availability of usable land, water, plants and animals to support their families.

This year, when planning your Green Wave celebration, think about poverty and development issues in your community and country. The type of species you choose could symbolize a development goal. For instance:

  • Good health - plant a species with medicinal value.
  • Hunger eradication - plant a species that produces fruits, nuts or other foods.
  • The location of where you plant the tree can also be linked to the 2010 IDB theme. Carefully think about where the tree should be planted so that people in your community will benefit. Should it go in the schoolyard or outside of the school? Next to a community garden or a communal water source? On a farm or a recreation area?

    Remember, the people attending your Green Wave celebration (and the people reading about it online) want to learn about the links between biodiversity, development and poverty alleviation. Be sure to share your reasoning about your choice of tree species and planting location. It's a great opportunity to teach others!

    Learn more about biodiversity, development and poverty alleviation and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Or, if you're a teacher, try some of MDG lessons with your class.

    For more information about IDB and background information on the past IDB themes and celebrations, visit the CBD website.

    In 2000, the United Nations hosted the Millennium Summit, an international meeting to figure out how all countries can collectively eradicate poverty and solve major development problems. After the meeting, 189 countries agreed to work together to achieve 8 Millennium Goals (MDGs).

    The MDGs are:

    • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
    • Achieve universal primary education
    • Promote gender equality and empower women
    • Reduce child mortality
    • Improve maternal health
    • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
    • Ensure sustainable development
    • Develop a global partnership for development