Water is synonymous with biological diversity. The UN’s International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) is celebrated each year on May 22nd, it is designed to increase awareness of biodiversity issues. The theme for IBD 2013 was Water and Biodiversity and its goal was to raise awareness about the mutually reinforcing relationship between water security and biodiversity.
From its creation by the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly in 1993 until 2000, IBD was held on December 29 to celebrate the day the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) went into effect. The date was later changed to commemorate the adoption of the CBD on May 22, 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit.
Providing water access is a major challenge for sustainable development. Only a tiny amount of the water on our planet is easily available as freshwater and demand is increasingly outpacing supply. In the U.S., the issue of water scarcity is widespread with two-thirds of the country suffering from extreme drought last summer. The UN estimates that 1.2 billion people or almost one fifth of the world’s population live in areas of physical scarcity.