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Pan-European Biodiversity Picnic

Biodiversity and ecosystem services essentially contribute to human life and wellbeing in a number of ways. However, in order to save this biodiversity also for our future benefit, real commitment is needed from all decision-makers and the public. The Pan-European Biodiversity Picnic is a multi-stakeholder initiative aiming to raise awareness on biodiversity and to strengthen commitment to its conservation through regular events every year on International Biodiversity Day.

The Pan-European Biodiversity Picnic was originally launched at the Biodiversity Stakeholders’ Roundtable in October 2007. At the Picnics Pan-European stakeholders of biodiversity spend a pleasant day together in the green, eat organic fruits and discuss the issues of biodiversity.

Check out the poster about the Picnics!

Picnics in 2010

Picnics in 2009

Picnics in 2008

Georgia Estonia Moldova
Bosnia_and_Herzegovina Hungary Germany, CBD COP9
Macedonia Lithuania Luxembourg
Portugal Macedonia Azerbaijan

Biodiversity means the diversity of life on Earth. It does not only include diversity of genes, species and ecosystems, but also the variety of relationships among living entities. The complexity comprising this diversity is a main characteristic of ecosystems and their functioning, a characteristic that we can never explore and understand in its entirety. At the same time, however, we do not have any doubts about the crucial role of ecosystem services, i.e. those ecosystem functions, which are beneficial for society and vitally contribute to human well being.

Human wellbeing derives from ecosystem services and thus biodiversity in many ways. The food we eat, the water we drink, a stable climate, timber, fiber and natural medicines are all presents from nature, which we take away or benefit from for our own wellbeing. If the ecosystems surrounding us cannot function properly any more, there will be no such services available either. Therefore maintaining the healthy functioning of ecosystems, which at the same time is built upon the diversity of all life forms in the course of billions of years, is not a luxury, but rather a matter of social welfare.

International agreements and national policies are intended to ensure the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of its components. Governments have made strong commitments, namely to halt the loss of biodiversity at the Pan-European level by 2010. However, efforts have not been enough. As the Belgrade Assessment reveals, biodiversity decline is continuing in the region, and unprecedented efforts would be needed to reverse it. The lack of true sectoral integration and commitment from the public threaten not only biodiversity, but also the flow of these ecosystem services for our own wellbeing. The Pan-European Biodiversity Picnic aims to contribute to building up this commitment of all stakeholders in society.

The Pan-European Biodiversity Picnic was originally launched at the Biodiversity Stakeholders’ Roundtable organised jointly by the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy and European ECO Forum at the Belgrade Conference in October 2007.

The Pan-European Biodiversity Picnic aims to:

  • Raise political and public awareness on biodiversity,
  • Deepen the understanding of the contribution of biodiversity to human wellbeing,
  • Attract various stakeholders to nature conservation,
  • Raise the profile of biodiversity in global politics through publicising this Pan-European multi-stakeholder initiative at international events and in the media.

The Picnic intends to bring together:

  • the Head of state and heads of state institutions (like government, parliament, ministries),
    political leaders,
  • trade unions, chambers, farmer organisations and other advocacy groups,
  • business leaders
  • social and youth organisations,
  • artists,
  • scientists,
  • conservation groups and other stakeholders for a pleasant picnic in nature every year on 22 May, International Biodiversity Day.

In addition to some seasonal fruits from extensive, organic orchards what else is needed for making the Picnic a success in your country?

  • Commitment from an institution or organisation, which can mobilise stakeholders and devote some capacities for the organisational tasks,
  • High-level representatives of various stakeholders, who are attracted to the Picnic both by the importance of the issue and the content of the picnic basket,
  • A nice place in nature, which can be a scenic place for a friendly gathering,
  • Preferably nice weather.

The Pan-European Biodiversity Picnic is a multi-stakeholder campaign for raising awareness on biodiversity. It is supported by UNEP Regional Office of Europe, the European Commission and by all participating countries and stakeholders. Download the brochure (pdf, 740 kb) about the campaign and please contact Veronika Kiss for further infromation.