International Biodiversity Day, celebrated by Romania's National Commission for UNESCO and the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Article published on 21-05-2021
On 22 May, we celebrate International Biodiversity Day, a day proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly by resolution 55/201 of 20 December 2000. The celebration of this day at the international level is based on an alarm signal on biodiversity issues, many species of Earth's fauna and flora are on the verge of extinction.
On the occasion of the International Day of Biodiversity, the National Commission of Romania for UNESCO (CNR UNESCO) and the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (USAMV) in Bucharest organized on Thursday, May 20, 2021, in the Aula Magna P.S. Aurelian, the conference "Protect nature's resources".
Today, the global community is called upon to re-examine our relationship with the environment, because contrary to all technological advances, we are completely dependent on healthy and efficient ecosystems to benefit from the necessary resources.
CNR UNESCO Secretary-General Madlen Șerban opened the conference and stressed that biological diversity remains the answer to the challenges for sustainable development, stating that “Biological diversity, like any form of diversity, is the essence of human existence, in relation to which we define our actions. Recognition of biodiversity, without the actions aimed at its conservation, is insufficient, and the imbalances that the planet is currently facing draw attention to the urgency and importance of sustained efforts. The 2021-2030 decade is one of ecological emergency. In this sense, the National Commission of Romania for UNESCO measures its priorities and establishes its institutional partnerships”.
The Rector of USAMV Bucharest, Prof. Dr. Răzvan Ionuț Teodorescu, stated that par excellence all the seven faculties of the university fight for the protection of agricultural, aquatic and forestry ecosystems. The campus with over 40 ha is an academic city and an oasis of biodiversity, and students are trained in the spirit of environmental protection and ecological technologies, all integrated in the knowledge and appreciation of biodiversity.
Prof. Dr. Eng. Ioan Jelev, Chairman of the Man and Biosphere Committee of Romania, marked the moment with a message recognizing the global advantage that biological diversity has for future generations, ensuring that work to conserve biodiversity contributes to nutrition, food security and people's livelihoods, especially for the most vulnerable.
Dr. John Smaranda, senior advisor, Biodiversity Department, Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests, addressed the issue of post-2020 biodiversity, emphasizing the European recommendation on expanding over 30% of natural parks and protected areas, Romania having many objectives made in this regard.
Dr. eng. Nicoleta Ion, researcher, Institute for Research and Development for Beekeeping, showed the role of bees in conserving biodiversity, bees being of major importance in pollination of entomophilous plants / crops, with a vital role in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem balance, due to adaptations specific to the biology of the species and the symbiosis between them and plants.
Dr. Alexandra Hillebrand Voiculescu, scientific researcher, “Emil Racoviță” Institute of Speleology, member of GESS (Underwater and Speleological Exploration Group), gave a presentation on the Movile Cave, the first ecosystem in the world whose life is based on chemosynthesis. Life without oxygen! Numerous invertebrate species have been presented that populate this cave completely devoid of natural light.
Prof. Dr. Liliana Bădulescu, coordinator of the master's program in Biodiversity Conservation Management within the Faculty of Horticulture, highlighted USAMV Bucharest's research in addressing biodiversity conservation issues, through master's programs and ecological horticultural sciences with complementary programs.
Assist. Dr. Cosmin Mihai, coordinator of the AVES Ornithology Club, within USAMV Bucharest, presented the richness of the fauna on the Agronomy-Herastrau campus and the students' concerns in popularizing and protecting birds and nature, in addressing scientific issues related to ornithology and nature study.
Prof. Dr. Florin Stănică, vice-rector of USAMV, had an extensive presentation of the concerns of the fruit growing team which, after research and experiments for 29 years, managed to introduce new fruit species in Romania - kiwi, northern banana, Chinese date fig, goji, aronia, etc. Through the works of improvement-hybridization and selection of new varieties, as well as through the introduction of new genotypes from other cultivation areas, the germplasm fund is continuously enriched and thus the biodiversity of fruit species is also increased.
In conclusion, there was a mutual desire to expand the collaboration between universities, CNR UNESCO and the local pre-university field, as well as abroad, for the organization of joint actions to support the cultural, educational and biological diversity heritage.
This conference is part of the anniversary program of the National Commission of Romania for UNESCO "Romania and UNESCO, bridges over time - 65 years since accession".