Launch of the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) – 2010

Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.

During the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was opened for signature. One main goal of this convention is the conservation of biological diversity. In 2002, the parties to the CBD developed the goal to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. To further underpin the importance of that goal, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided to proclaim 2010 the „International Year of Biodiversity“. Germany holds the presidency of the CBD until October 2010 and thus was launching the IYB 2010. The opening ceremony was celebrated in the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Federal Minister for the Environment, Norbert Röttgen, the Director General of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Achim Steiner and numerous other prominent guests. The goal formulated in 2002 will not be achieved in 2010, as stated by Angela Merkel during the ceremony. Merkel further explained that it is difficult to halt the loss of the biological diversity, but the change is important now and immediate. The Museum für Naturkunde used the opportunity to present BHL-Europe and other important biodiversity projects in which it is involved to the international audience of this event.