RBINS joins the European Commission Global Coalition “United for #Biodiversity”

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29/09/2020
RBINS joins the European Commission Global Coalition “United for #Biodiversity”
post by
Reinout Verbeke

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences becomes the 2nd official member and the 1st Natural History Museum worldwide to join the Global Coalition United for #Biodiversity.

Launched on World Wildlife Day by EU Commissioner for Environment Virginijus Sinkevicius, the Global Coalition calls for strong mobilization of all national research centers, science and natural history museums, botanic gardens, zoos, parks, aquariums and beyond to unite forces and make their voices heard about the nature crisis ahead of the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in 2021. 500 institutions are expected to take part to this movement by the end of 2020.

Today, at the dawn of the first ever UN high-level Summit on Biodiversity, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences adds its voice to the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco and the 16 international organisations that already endorsed the Pledge of the Coalition. Together, we urge all nations to take all necessary measures to protect and restore world ecosystems, at a time science warns us 1 million species are at risk of extinction.

Together for Biodiversity

As holder of the mandate of National Focal Point to the Convention on Biological Diversity for Belgium since 1995, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences stimulates the implementation of the Convention in and by Belgium through science-based policy advise, public awareness, development cooperation partnerships, etc.

In the spirit of the Global Coalition, the Institute initiated at the end of 2019 an ever-expanding movement of Belgian organisations including local, regional and federal authorities, universities, NGOs, research institutes, museums, zoological and botanical gardens, federations, schools, companies, etc. raising awareness on the importance of biodiversity and stimulating action for its preservation. The movement, the first of its kind in the world, encompasses more than 80 partner organisations for the moment. It is called “Together for Biodiversity” (Dutch/French) and launched a first communication and activation campaign (Save biodiversity, together and now!) on this year’s international biodiversity day, 22 May 2020.

An Urgent Commitment

Working together to preserve life on our planet is our daily concern. Our scientists study the natural world throughout the planet, from underground caves to rainforest treetops. Furthermore, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and its Museum, famous for its Dinosaur Gallery, opened on September 10 of this year a new permanent gallery “Living Planet”. More than 800 specimens explain biodiversity, its importance and the threats our natural world faces.

Following the statement by the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF) that all its 63 leading Natural Science Museums/Natural History Museums, Botanic Gardens and research centers from 22 European countries will join the Global Coalition “United for #Biodiversity” of the European Commission, we are glad and proud we are the 1st CETAF member to confirm this commitment.

We are stronger together: we call upon all other Natural History Museums, aquariums, zoological and botanical gardens in Belgium and around the globe to join forces in this important initiative.

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