Statement of Rare President Caleb McClennen on World Biodiversity Day

May 22, 2024

In celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity, Rare President Dr. Caleb McClennen, PhD released the following statement:

“Healthy plants and wildlife are the foundation of thriving ecosystems that communities around the world depend on for food and jobs, and to reduce the impact of extreme weather fueled by climate change. We help humanity by safeguarding biodiversity 

“The theme of this year’s World Biodiversity Day is ‘Be part of the Plan’ —a call to action as we implement the Biodiversity Plan that came out of the 2022 UN Biodiversity Conference. There are three key things we must do to ensure everyone has the opportunity to play their part in implementing the Biodiversity Plan, including the 30×30 goal: 

“One, communities should lead. Too often, planning strategies for conserving biodiversity leave out the people and communities most affected. When given the rights to protect and sustainably manage nature, and a say in how to do it, local communities and Indigenous peoples are among nature’s most effective stewards.

“Two, prioritize places where biodiversity and human activity meet. As we implement the Biodiversity Plan including the goal of protecting 30 percent of land and sea by 2030, we must prioritize the right 30 percent, including coastal waters, forests, and grasslands. Expanding the conservation toolbox to protect nature, while also meeting the needs of people living on nature’s frontlines is critical to success. 

“Three, use people-centered solutions. Human activity like overfishing, deforestation, pollution, land degradation, and illegal or unsustainable wildlife trade all threaten the biodiversity that sustains us. If human behavior is part of the problem, our understanding of human behavior must be part of the solution. Ultimately, it’s up to people to implement the Biodiversity Plan. A people-centered approach can ensure a lasting impact. 

“We need everyone to ‘be part of the plan.’  Local action matters. An equitable, inclusive, and people-centered approach is vital to the plan’s successful implementation.”