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The Environment Millennium Time To Act

Nairobi, 23 May 2000 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is launching two new biodiversity books here today during the ongoing talks on the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity is a detailed review of the diversity of spiritual and social values that various cultures have placed on biological diversity. It examines concerns that an accelerating loss of diversity in human cultures and languages is occurring simultaneously with the loss of biological diversity. The report's contributors have amassed papers, stories, poems, case studies, photographs, drawings and song lyrics highlighting the central role of cultural and spiritual values in the appreciation and preservation of all life.

"This publication will convince readers that we must preserve the life-sustaining customs of humanity's diverse societies and weave them into a resilient fabric that will protect the sanctity of all life," said UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer.

The book discusses a range of issues that are also addressed by the Convention on Biological Diversity, including the need to respect, reward and recognize the contribution of indigenous and traditional populations.

The second book, Global Biodiversity: Earth's Living Resources in the 21st century, published by UNEP's World Conservation Monitoring Centre, has drawn on expert knowledge worldwide. It explores the relationship between humanity and the millions of other species on earth.

Global Biodiversity looks at human beings as part of the diversity of life and explores the impact we are having on other life forms and on ecosystems.

"Taken together, these two new publications vividly bring to life the multidimensional challenges that biodiversity conservation poses to policy-makers and the general public alike," said Toepfer.

Note to journalists: The book launch will take place today at 1 p.m. in the Press Briefing Room (the event is not a press briefing but is open to all delegates at the meeting including journalist). Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity is available at UNEP web page:


UNEP News Release 00/59

Tuesday 23 May 2000
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