2020/10/12 Dresden, Germany
This year the United Nations (UN) celebrates its 75th birthday. UN Day, celebrated annually on 24 October, will also be commemorated this year in Dresden under the theme “Biodiversity”. With an evening event on Tuesday, 13 October, 6 p.m. in the plenary hall of the Dresden City Hall, the organisers are taking the founding of the international organisation as an opportunity to honour local initiatives that make sustainability and the conservation of biodiversity the core of their activities, in addition to a spotlight talk and a discussion round, as part of the Lokale Agenda Competition.
Due to hygiene and social distance regulations, the number of participants is limited to 60 this year. All places have been allocated by pre-registration. Those interested can follow the event via live stream. The event will be held in German.
During the ceremony, Prof. Josef Settele from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and expert at the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will speak about “Biodiversity and Ecosystems – Global Developments and Options for the Future”. This will be followed by a discussion with Deputy Mayor (Environment) Eva Jähnigen and Prof. Edeltraud Guenther, Director of UNU-FLORES. In the second part of the event, the focus will be on the local level. Together, the Lokale Agenda 21 für Dresden e. V. and the Lions Club Dresden Agenda 21 award initiatives in the context of the Agenda Competition on the topic of sustainability and biodiversity.
Eva Jähnigen looks forward to the anniversary: “In Dresden, too, we are celebrating 75 years of the United Nations this year. The diversity of life on our planet is an indispensable basis for human existence, well-being, and economic activity. The preservation of biodiversity is therefore both a global task and one that must be tackled locally. In Dresden, we have therefore made it one of our tasks to turn urban lawns into flowering meadows and, in the case of new plantings, to take into account the value of biodiversity. However, the preservation of biodiversity can only be achieved together. That’s why I’m delighted that so many people in Dresden have started to do their bit – in gardening, bird protection, or watering trees”. Prof. Guenther adds: “Biological diversity has rarely been taken into account in decisions to date – it is not directly visible and its effects are only really felt when it is too late. This perception must change in order to secure our future”.
In order to bring biodiversity closer to Dresden’s schoolchildren, the regional group of BUND and the UNICEF Working Group in Dresden have developed the “Biodiversity” themed tour for school classes in grades 5 to 8. This tour leads to various stations in Dresden, where interesting facts are conveyed and puzzles are to be solved. Interested schools can register at the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seventy-five years ago, on 24 October 1945, the Charter of the United Nations came into force. UN host countries around the world are celebrating this event and the subsequent decades of commitment to world peace and sustainable development. Dresden has also been a UN host city, since scientists from all over the world started working at the United Nations University (UNU-FLORES) at the World Trade Center in 2012.
Among the organisers of UN Day in Dresden are UNU-FLORES, the Lokale Agenda 21 for Dresden e.V., City of Dresden, the Regional Association of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia of the German United Nations Association (DGVN), the UNICEF Working Group Dresden, the Lions Club Local Agenda 21 Dresden e. V., and the Centre for International Studies of TU Dresden.
For more information, please visit flores.unu.edu/UNDay.
Atiqah Fairuz Salleh
Communications and Advocacy, UNU-FLORES
Tel.: +49 351 8921 9387