World Environmental and Awareness Days of May 2023
May is a month filled with opportunities to raise awareness and take action towards protecting some of the world's most vital species. Towards the end of the month, there are three special days that we would like to highlight. World Bee Day on May 20th reminds us of the crucial role that pollinators play in maintaining healthy ecosystems and global food security. The International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22nd emphasizes the importance of preserving Earth's resources and the need for collective action to rebuild and preserve the planet's biological diversity. Finally, World Turtle Day on May 23rd raises awareness of the threats faced by turtles and tortoises and encourages human action to help them survive and thrive. These special days provide an opportunity for everyone to create awareness, inspire action, or donate towards a solution and support of these essential creatures. Let's use these days as a reminder of our responsibility to protect and preserve our planet's biodiversity and ecosystems.
World Bee Day - 20th May
World Bee Day, celebrated annually on May 20th, is a significant observance that raises awareness about the crucial role of bees and other pollinators in maintaining healthy ecosystems and ensuring global food security. It is estimated that nearly 90% of wild flowering plants and 75% of global food crops depend on animal pollination, making the conservation of pollinators imperative. Unfortunately, human activities such as intensive farming, pesticide use, and climate change pose threats to these essential creatures.
World Bee Day was established in 2018, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Government of Slovenia, FAO, and Apimondia. The date of May 20th was chosen in honor of Anton Janša, a pioneer of modern beekeeping. Each year, World Bee Day promotes actions that protect and enhance pollinators and their habitats. The theme for World Bee Day 2023 is "Bee Engaged in Pollinator-Friendly Agricultural Production," which emphasizes the importance of evidence-based agricultural practices in supporting pollinators.
Did you know that there are over 20,000 species of bees in the world? Honey bees are incredible creatures that gather nectar from millions of flowers to produce honey. Supporting local beekeepers is a meaningful way to contribute to the conservation of bees. Consider buying honey and other hive products from your local beekeepers or trusted brands that can trace their honey back to a beekeeper.
Another simple action you can take to support pollinators is by letting your lawn grow in May to provide wildflowers. This World Bee Day, let us all commit to taking action to protect these essential creatures that play a crucial role in our food security and biodiversity conservation efforts. Join the global movement on #WorldBeeDay and remember that #PollinatorsMatter
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International Day for Biological Diversity - 22nd May
The International Day for Biological Diversity is a globally recognized day celebrated on May 22 each year. The purpose of this day is to promote awareness and understanding of biodiversity issues and to emphasize the importance of preserving Earth’s resources. The theme for 2023 is "From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity," which emphasizes the need for collective action to rebuild and preserve the planet's biological diversity.
Biodiversity includes genetic differences within species, the variety of plants, animals, and microorganisms, and the different ecosystems they inhabit. Biological diversity provides the foundation for our civilization, and it plays a vital role in human well-being. For example, fish provide 20% of animal protein to about 3 billion people, and plants provide over 80% of the human diet. Traditional plant-based medicines are used for basic healthcare by 80% of people living in rural areas in developing countries. Biodiversity also has a direct impact on human health; its loss could expand zoonotic diseases, while keeping biodiversity intact offers excellent tools to fight pandemics.
The International Day for Biological Diversity is a significant event that reminds us of our responsibility to preserve biodiversity. It highlights that biodiversity is essential for our survival, and losing it could threaten our existence. Therefore, it is essential to protect biodiversity and promote sustainable use of the earth’s resources to preserve the biological diversity of our planet.
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World Turtle Day - 23rd May
World Turtle Day is an annual observance that takes place on May 23rd. It was founded in 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) with the aim of celebrating and protecting turtles and tortoises, raising awareness of the threats they face and encouraging human action to help them survive and thrive.
There are over 300 species of turtles in the world, out of which 129 species are endangered, making it crucial to educate people about their conservation. The ATR sponsors the day and provides resources such as Turtle Day lesson plans and craft projects for schools, which can help teach children about the importance of turtle conservation.
World Turtle Day is celebrated in various ways, including rescuing turtles from highways, and participating in research activities. Individuals can also support the cause by adopting turtles or tortoises from rehabilitation centers. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of the threats turtles and tortoises face and inspire people to take action to protect them. Celebrating the day can take many forms, and everyone can get involved in their own way to help these amazing creatures.
Read more here.