IYB High-Level Event Draws Parallels Between Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss

22 January 2010: At a high-level event organized at the headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France, from 21-22 January 2010, Davidson Hepburn, Chair of the UNESCO General Conference, stressed that “we are witnessing the loss of the very services on which livelihood systems depend,” in the case of many populations, particularly those of small island States.

He urged societies to "strive for a more sustainable use of natural resources and for a reduction in habitat loss and climate change, including the social and cultural dimensions," explaining that this would "allow us to preserve the services on which we depend – the services of biodiversity.” UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova declared in a video message that “we must not be discouraged by the outcomes” of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Instead, she said, evoking the destruction of natural habitats and accelerated biodiversity loss, “we must change current trends. The future we choose for our planet is in our hands.” The high-level event was organized as part of the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB). [UNESCO/CBD Press Release]