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International Day for Biological Diversity | May 22

To raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity and issues related to the variety of life on the planet, in different ecosystems and species.

International Day of Biodiversity organizer
Credit: U.S. National Park Service [PUBLIC DOMAIN] via UN.org

Intro 

Biodiversity is the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem.

The United Nations declared May 22 International Day of Biodiversity to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity on the planet.

The earth has great biological resources. Because life on earth is interconnected, the threat of extinction to a species or aspects of an ecosystem can affect us all.

 

Below, enjoy the stories of heroes from all over the world fighting for biodiversity. Consider how one person can have a lasting impact on the future, and think about how you too can make a change. 



Teachers: Visit the free MY HERO Lesson Plan for International Day for Biodiversity. Includes discussion guide and learning outcomes.

Stories


MY HERO recommends this excellent essay by Harold Wood, Jr. about his hero, John Muir. Muir was a  famous California conservationist with a radically non-anthropocentric view of nature. Understanding the world in this way can help us understand the importance of biodiversity.

John Muir

By: Harold W. Wood, Jr.

This is an excellent essay about John Muir, the famous California conservationist, and his radically non-anthropocentric view of nature.

Here are two stories about heroes working to preserve the Amazon rain forest and coral reefs--two incredibly important ecosystems that are part of the earth's biodiversity.

Chico Mendes

By: Jeff Trussell

Chico Mendes died a martyr defending the rainforests.

Help Mary Save Coral

By: Amanda Molinaro from Irvine
Help Mary Save Coral works to repopulate the world's coral.
Thomas Lovejoy is called the "grandfather of biodiversity." Read about him in this exciting newswire story told from the "lungs of the earth"-- the Amazon.

Camp Amazon: Inside the 'lungs of the Earth'

By: Amanda Paulson - CSM Staff writer

Dr. Lovejoy, the "godfather of biodiversity," brings celebrities and scientists to the Amazon to sleep in hammocks and see our biggest environmental crises: climate change and biodiversity loss. 

2019 Theme


The 2019 theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity focuses on biodiversity as the foundation for our food and health. The theme aims to spread awareness of the dependency of our food systems, nutrition, and health on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.

In observance of the 2019 theme, we share this story on Indian author, scholar and environmental activist, who preserve biodiversity on earth.

Vanda Shivah protects the biodiversity of farmers' crops by preserving original seeds.

Dr. Vandana Shiva

By: David Kemker
Dr. Vandana Shiva works to preserve biodiversity for the planet.

Art


 

The following artwork was curated by MY HERO Arts Education and Gallery director Victoria Murphy. 

This Eco-Visionaries mural was created at the request of the Endangered Planet Foundation to celebrate conservation heroes

By: Students working with Endangered Planet Foundation

Rachel Carson raised awareness of the environmental and health risks associated with the proliferating use of chemicals

By: Robert Shetterly

John Muir, Naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness areas painted by Robert Shetterly

By: Robert Shetterly

Jane Goodall 's efforts to save the chimpanzees and her global conservation foundation are celebrated in this artwork by a student

By: Samantha Gamble from the United States (Age 11)

Film


 

Wendy Milette

The following selection of short films was curated by MY HERO International Film Festival director Wendy Milette.

Tiger Talk

Produced by:Ravi Prakash, Ashutosh Joshi

Animated documentary celebrating those who fight to save the tiger population in India. The story is told through the eyes of a tiger. Made for the WWF-India.

Nancy Caruso

By: Anabelle Vo
Nancy Caruso is a marine biologist who helped bring kelp forests back to the California coast.

Tuy Sereivathana | Cambodia

Producer: Tom Dusenbery

Tuy Sereivathana works to mitigate elephant mistreatment in Cambodia by introducing innovative low-cost solutions.

Protecting the Amazon by Advancing Indigenous Rights

PAUL PAZ Y MINO
Since 1996, Amazon Watch has protected the rainforest and advanced the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. We partner with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability, and the preservation of the Amazon's ecological systems.

Last Stand - The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest (Trailer)

Produced by:David Moskowitz
The forthcoming documentary “Last Stand” puts the Caribou Rainforest on the map before it’s too late.

The Arctic Garden

Produced by:Will Parinello/Tom Dusenberry
Caroline Cannon, an Inupiat indigenous leader, takes aim at offshore oil drilling that threatens her people and the biodiversity in the Arctic Sea.

Habitat for the Endangered

Produced by:Tom Dusenbery
A biologist by training, Rudi Putra is dismantling illegal palm oil plantations that are causing massive deforestation in northern Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem, protecting the habitat of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino.

Links


My Hero suggested viewing

TED Ed | Why is Biodiversity Important?

An excellent introduction video which explains the three components of biodiversity: ecosystem, genetic and species. Learn about the Amazon rainforest, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world; coral reefs.

 

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year



Organizer created on 5/4/2014 6:45:53 AM by Becky Miller

Last edited 5/6/2019 8:39:24 PM by Xenia Shin

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