In advance of International Biodiversity Day on 22nd May, Chinese Man and the Biosphere National Committee held a Forum on Sustainable Development and Biodiversity and the 12th China Biosphere Reserve Network Conference in the United Nations Pavilion at Shanghai Expo
“Biological diversity is the basis of the maintenance of a healthy earth’s ecological environment and the establishment of a harmonious relationship between man and nature”, said the President of Chinese Man and the Biosphere National Committee, Xu Zhihong, “The United Nations declared the year 2010 ‘International Year of Biodiversity and Biosphere Reserves Management’ to better conserve biological diversity, protect the environment and improve the human living condition.”
Zhihong said that as countries around the world begin to fulfill the commitment to conserve biological diversity, the global destruction of forests has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years. However, countries pledged to reduce the rate of species extinction by 2010. According to United Nations reports, the situation is not encouraging.
“Worrying news is coming constantly: global warming will reduce 9% of plant species, with a potentially catastrophic sharp drop of global bees, this will affect 90 kinds of fruit trees, vegetables and other economic plant production which depend on bee pollination; large areas of coral reef demise would seriously damage a large variety of fish habitat and it is estimated that in Asia that 1 billion people's lives would be affected.” Xu Zhihong said.
At present, the China Biosphere Reserve Network has 141 members. Lianhua Mountain in Gansu, Niubeiliang in Shaanxi, Micangshan in Sichuan, Tongling in Anhui and the Mountain National Nature Reserve in Guangdong became new members of the Network during the Conference.
“The 2010 Shanghai World Expo recognised the protection of the environment as extremely important and proposed the idea of the green, low-carbon Expo” Zhihong said. “We look forward to more people joining the ranks of the conservation of biodiversity through this meeting”.