International Day for Biodiversity 2017: Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism

Biodiversity provides the essential foundations for our very existence, livelihoods, and prosperity. It provides us with clean water, air, soil, food, medicine, and resources for jobs and growth. It underpins global tourism – one of the world’s fastest growing industries with tremendous potential for contributing to sustainable, inclusive, and equitable development. Biodiversity enriches our lives and culture with its many surprises and breathtaking wildlife, instilling in us a sense of wonder, excitement, peace and happiness. We, of course, are a part of biodiversity, too, sharing this finite and astonishingly beautiful planet with all other species, great and small. 

Poetry, like literature, philosophy, music, design and all the creative arts, is often inspired by nature - landscapes, wildlife, and the natural world we live in. Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry that also takes nature as its focus. It is based on a system of three lines and a set syllable pattern. The first and last lines of a haiku have five syllables and the middle line has seven syllables. This 5-7-5 pattern provides a simple structure around which moving images can be woven together to reflect a common respect, admiration and love for all living things on our shared planet. This simplicity of haiku helps convey the profound beauty of the world around us.

UNDP, in cooperation with GEF and CBD have prepared a collection of haikus to help celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22, 2017, and this year’s theme of Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism. Download Inspired by nature: Celebrating biodiversity with Haikus here: http://bit.ly/2qJMZQf.

Here is a sample, written by Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Environment Facility:

Once in a lifetime
Let nature inspire us all
We’ll rise up and act