Accessibility links

Breaking News

UN Launching International Year Of Biodiversity

The United Nations is today officially launching the International Year Of Biodiversity, aimed at raising awareness about the loss of animal and plant species and organizing action to halt it.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are among those expected to speak at the opening ceremony in the German capital, Berlin.

In a statement, the UN says that humans rely on the diversity of life to provide the food, fuel, medicine and other essentials needed for life. But the statement says this rich diversity is being lost at a greatly accelerated rate because of human activities, such as the expansion of cities and farming.

At a summit in Johannesburg in 2002, governments agreed to achieve by 2010 "a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional, and national level" -- but experts have said this target does not appear to have been met.