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November 12-15, 2024
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Greenbuild Blog

Everything You Need to Know about World Biodiversity Day

By Nick Vener

About International Day for Biological Diversity

The United Nations has declared May 22 the International Day for Biological Diversity (or World Biodiversity Day), aimed at building back biodiversity for the global community and re-examining our relationship with the natural world. 

Greenbuild is celebrating World Biodiversity Day this year and sharing everything you need to know, including background, the impacts on the built environment, and how you can celebrate!

The International Day for Biological Diversity falls within the scope of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and is a larger initiative to bring awareness and promote biodiversity issues, including land use, pollution, water quality, chemical and waste contamination, climate change, and other critical ecosystem degradation causing threats to human health.

What is biodiversity? Technically, biodiversity is all of the different types of life you will find in one area, such as animal variety, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms (like bacteria) that make up our natural world.

Who does the loss of biodiversity affect? Everyone! But mainly our health. According to the World Health Organization, biodiversity loss can have significant direct human health impacts if ecosystem services are no longer adequate to meet social needs. Loss in biodiversity may limit discovery of potential treatments for many diseases and health problems. Indirectly, changes in ecosystem services affect livelihoods, income, local migration and, on occasion, may even cause or exacerbate political conflict.

Keeping biodiversity intact offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses while providing substantial value for future generations.

How can the built environment help preserve biodiversity? Commercial building landscapes offer immense potential to combat biodiversity loss and climate change. Native plant landscaping supports biodiversity and offers benefits, including reduced water use, waste, GHG emissions, runoff, and more.

Native plant landscapes can also help buildings reach performance targets, address resiliency, and act as a pillar to net-zero strategies. In addition, native plant landscapes will help buildings meet credits for LEED and SITES certifications while enabling structures to address their impacts on nature within their direct operations.

How can I celebrate World Biodiversity Day? Join Greenbuild on Monday, May 22, 2023, from 1:00pm-2:00pm ET to celebrate World Biodiversity Day with a webinar titled “Biodiversity and the Built Environment - Strategies for a Nature Positive Future.”

In this webinar, we’ll hear from sustainability experts as they discuss identifying native plants, why they are important, and how they play an integral role in supporting healthy, sustainable buildings. Learn more and register here.

About the Author

Nick Vener is a Marketing Manager for the Greenbuild International Conference + Expo and a LEED Green Associate. He focuses on digital and content marketing for Greenbuild, concentrating on sustainability and the green building space.