Sacramento, California - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a proclamation declaring May 22, 2018 as “International Day for Biological Diversity.”
Biodiversity is the variety and richness of life—spanning individual genes to entire ecosystems. The term recognizes the all-encompassing pattern of connection that ties together plants, animals and other living things. Biologist E.O. Wilson explains that use of the term biodiversity marks a shift away from a “bits and pieces” understanding of conservation to one based on holistic and natural systems.
California has been designated a global biodiversity hotspot. It is home to more species of animals and plants than any other state in the United States. The deserts, forests, mountain ranges, vast valleys, wetlands, woodlands, rivers, estuaries, marine environments, rangelands and agricultural fields of California provide refuge for approximately 650 bird species, 220 mammals, 75 amphibians, 70 freshwater fish, 100 marine fish and mammals, and approximately 6,500 taxa of native plants—of which 2,000 or more are rare. The land of California extends more than 159,000 square miles with over 4,900 lakes and reservoirs, 175 major rivers and streams, and 1,110 miles of coastline.
Tragically, the world’s rich biodiversity is in great danger. California’s wildlife surveys found 80 percent of birds and 75 percent of small mammals have moved from their natural habitats. Monarch butterfly populations have dropped significantly since the 1980s and California’s butterfly count is now at one of its lowest levels since 1997.
Twenty-five years ago, the Convention on Biological Diversity went into effect. The Convention describes ways to conserve and sustainably preserve biodiversity across the planet. The United Nations General Assembly declared May 22 the International Day for Biological Diversity. On this day we should all take stock of where we are and how much we must change if we are to save the biodiversity on which we all depend.
NOW THEREFORE I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim May 22, 2018 as “International Day for Biological Diversity.”
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 22nd day of May 2018.
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor of California
Secretary of State