The International Year of Biodiversity closed in Kazakhstan


The International Year of Biodiversity closed in KazakhstanAn official Closing Ceremony of the International Year of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan took place in the “Shabyt” Art Palace on Tuesday. The loss of biological diversity stands alongside climate change as one of the most pressing areas of global policy, and is thus one of the crucial challenges of our time. But even though we are aware of this loss and are committed to combating it at national, regional and international level, biodiversity – the wealth of our planet – continues to disappear at a dramatic rate worldwide.

The UN General Assembly declared the 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity to increase public awareness throughout the world for the many facets of biodiversity and integrate this issue in key political and social processes, the press service of the UN in Kazakhstan reports.

“In 2010 under the slogan “One UN for Biodiversity”, the United Nations system worked to show how biodiversity is central to poverty alleviation, development and human security. At the September high-level meeting of the General Assembly on biodiversity, world leaders emphasized the need to act now to save life on Earth. At the Nagoya Biodiversity Summit in November, Governments agreed on a new biodiversity vision, adopted the Aichi Biodiversity Targets that will guide national strategies and South-South cooperation, and endorsed a plan of action on cities and biodiversity”, – said Stephen Tull, UN Resident Coordinator / UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan in his opening address.

In Kazakhstan an official launch of the International Year of Biodiversity was organized jointly with Ministry of Environment on 28 May 2010. Throughout the year countless initiatives were organized to disseminate information, promote the protection of biodiversity and encourage organizations, institutions, companies and individuals to take direct action to reduce the constant loss of biological diversity.

Events under joint UNDP / Government projects included the Republican Debate Tournament among students of Kazakhstan universities, exhibitions, “March for Parks” events in the protected areas, side event “Biodiversity conservation and ecotourism development in the region” within the framework of the 6th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific, Flamingo Festival in Korgalzhyn state nature reserve, “The apple day” exhibition and a tulip exhibition in cooperation with Almaty City Akimat. Jointly with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Kazakhstan a colorful photo album “Tulips of Kazakhstan” was released for the first time in the country. A big milestone was an establishment of Zhongar Alatau State National Park.

The ceremony also opened the 2011 International Year of Forests. “The challenge we now face is to make sure that we together produce concrete actions over the years to come that address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, reduce the pressures on biodiversity, safeguard biodiversity at all levels, enhance the benefits provided by biodiversity, and provide for capacity-building. As we look forward to the 2011 International Year of Forests and the 2011-2020 United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, let us maintain and accelerate the momentum this past year has generated,” – called on UN Resident Coordinator.

During the Closing Ceremony informational materials on projects and activities implemented throughout the year were extensively exhibited in a central hall of the “Shabyt” Palace of Art. Also documentary films produced within a year have been showed to the public. After an official part Award ceremony nominating the best projects and activists of the Year has taken place followed by the Concert Program.