Statement by Amy Fraenkel, Executive Secretary on the International Day for Biological Diversity


The theme of International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 - Our solutions are in nature – provides an important, and timely reminder that human beings, our economies, our cities and our communities, are all supported in some way by natural systems and functions.

Migratory species are vital parts of nature and of healthy ecosystems that are essential to sustaining life on Earth. They also provide direct and measurable benefits, such as pest control, pollination and seed dispersal. Natural areas and parks, sustainable tourism and wildlife viewing all produce significant revenues and jobs globally.

And yet, we are losing wild species at a faster rate than ever before. Last year, a major scientific assessment on biodiversity found that we are in danger of losing 1 million species to extinction, including migratory species, if we do not step up our actions.

The greatest threats to migratory species are the destruction and fragmentation of their habitats, and overexploitation. Alarmingly, these same threats have been tied to the kinds of infectious diseases that we are currently combatting. Most zoonotic diseases in humans have resulted from human activities, such as consuming, harvesting and handling of wild animals, and the increased proximity of humans and livestock to natural habitats as a result of human encroachment in wild areas.

The Convention on Migratory Species provides a unique platform for countries to work together to address these threats. CMS addresses both the conservation and management of wild species of animals, as well as the conservation of their habitats.

This year’s International Day for Biological Diversity is a day on which we can reflect on the value of nature, and recommit to protecting it, so that it can continue to protect and support us.

Last updated on 01 June 2020