- the celebration of the centennial of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and
- the International Year of Biodiversity
The Smithsonian has long provided global leadership in the science of biodiversity and it is quite appropriate that it is supporting the creation of this spectacular new facility in a country in which it has had so long and importance a scientific presence.
UNESCO is joining the Convention on Biological Diversity, the lead UN body for the IYB, to make the IYB an effective instrument to advance the cause of biodiversity conservation. During the Year, UNESCO will lead several activities which aim to educate and to raise public awareness on the reasons for conserving biodiversity, to fill the gaps in our knowledge of biodiversity and to catalyze further international action for its sustainable use.
The United States has been little involved in UNESCO's important programs dealing with the science of Biodiversity since Representative Don Young of Arkansas put a hold on U.S. participation in such programs in the late 1990s.
This is the year to renew and reaffirm U.S. commitment to international collaboration on the science of biodiversity, and especially to UNESCO's program titled "People, Biodiversity and Ecology".
The opinions expressed in this posting are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Americans for UNESCO.