In 2009, the theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity will be invasive alien species. These invasive alien species are not martians left by Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), but biological species (such as plants, animals, fungi and bacteria) who spread outside their natural past or present distribution range and threaten biodiversity in these new areas.
Experts consider invasive alien species to be one of the main causes of biodiversity loss around the world. Not only can they wreak environmental havoc, but also ruin cultural traditions and cost our economies hundreds of billions of dollars every year. So for the sake of our environments, cultures and economies, it’s really important to spread the world about invasive alien species and to promote native species.
To link your school’s Green Wave tree planting activities with the 2009 IBD theme, you’ll want to plant a tree that is native to your area. By promoting a native species with historical roots in your community and country, you can contribute to a solution to the problem of invasive alien species.
To discover which tree species are native in your area, contact your local or national botanical gardens and herbaria or visit their websites. Even better, invite a specialist to your class to talk about native species and invasive alien species.
For more information about IBD celebrations and background information on the 2009 theme, visit www.cbd.int/ibd/2009/