2010 Rio Conventions Calendar Photography
2010 Rio Conventions Calendar
The polar bear is at the top of the arctic marine food web and can thus be used to monitor
the impact of changes to the arctic ecosystem (such as the effects of climate change). It
is estimated that 20,000 polar bears are left in the Arctic. Climate change represents the
most serious threat to the polar bears.
Sustaining Life, Sustaining Our Future
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Convention for Bio Diversity (CBD) –
otherwise known as the "Rio Conventions" present their A3 sized 2010 calendar to
world leaders, heads of governments, environment ministers and negotiators,
inter-governmental agencies, non government organizations and key individuals engaged in
environmental challenges all over the world.
The lives and well-being of over 6 billion people on Earth are intimately linked to the
health of the species and ecosystems on our planet, and to its stability. We rely on nature
to provide us with food, fuel and medicine. We rely on nature for invaluable services like
crop pollination, climate stabilization, and air and water purification. Preserving the
integrity of nature – and therefore a high quality of life for people everywhere
– requires that we live sustainably and place only those demands upon the planet that
do not exceed its capacity to regenerate.
Achieving this balance is the key to sustainable development and to realizing full human
potential. In 1992, the international community committed to the vision of a sustainable
future by agreeing to promote sustainable development using three groundbreaking treaties:
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention to
Combat Desertification and the Convention on Biological Diversity. These Conventions address
climate change, desertification/land degradation and biodiversity loss respectively. Over
time, we have increasingly realized that these issues, and therefore the implementation of
these treaties, are deeply connected.
The United Nations has designated 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. During
the year, individuals and groups around the world will be making commitments and developing
long-term strategies to safeguard biodiversity for their sake and for that of future
generations. Biodiversity is being lost at an alarming rate. Now is the time to act.
We cannot tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and land degradation independently.
For example, approximately 10% of the species assessed so far are at risk of extinction for
every 1°C rise in global mean surface temperature. There is also increasing evidence
that reducing emissions from forest and land-use activities such as logging and
agriculture through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is a key way of
keeping the global temperature increase to below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels. The
extent to which countries draw on and connect the different conservation and sustainable use
lessons learned from the implementation of the three Rio Conventions will, in part, determine
the achievement of the full benefits from land use management and other activities.
Integrating climate change related activities, biodiversity conservation and sustainable
use, and activities to combat desertification, land degradation and the effects of drought
will require careful planning. Needless to say, the magnitude of the problems we face means
that the task of aligning our actions will become increasingly important in the years to
The 2010 Rio Conventions calendar is offered in the spirit of collaboration and
cooperation that we hope will define the International Year of Biodiversity. Its images
celebrate the diversity of species, ecosystems, landscapes and cultures that grace our planet
and that underpin efforts toward sustainable development. We hope these images will inspire
you to join in the celebrations during this important year, and to do all you can to help
preserve the diversity of life on Earth.
Yvo de Boer
Climate Change Secretariat
Thanks to our
Download the 2010 Rio Conventions Calendar (4131 kB)
Swimming in River
Climate change and land degradation pose a major threat to everyone in the world, but nowhere
is the crisis more acute than in the drylands, which are home to more than 2 billion people.
It is here, where the soils are especially fragile, vegetation is sparse and the climate is
unforgiving, that desertification takes hold. Africa is particularly threatened, since land
degradation affects about 46% of the whole continent.
Scientists have identified that the hawksbill global population has declined by over 80%
during the last century and most populations are still declining, depleted or are remnants of
larger aggregations. Like other marine turtles, hawksbills are threatened by the loss of
habitat due to coastal development, poaching, excessive egg-collection, fishery and other
human-related mortality, pollution, and climate change. It is this last threat, climate
change, which has some turtle conservationists worried about the long-term survival of
Massive cotton and soybean farm operations in the highlands surrounding the Pantanal threaten
the marsh with silt and chemical run-off.
Drought is a major cause of the degradation of fragile ecosystems. It compels people and
animals to abandon their habitats - otherwise they will perish. In some countries, nearly
entire populations of elephants have disappeared because of severe drought.
Acacia Tree with Sunset
Scarce vegetation is common in landscapes ravaged by desertification and drought. This Acacia
senegal produces gum arabic, which is used for medicinal purposes by the local populations,
and for cosmetics and food additives. Thus, the loss of drylands biodiversity is a threat to
the well-being of the local inhabitants and the global community.
The impact of climate change is even higher when subsistence economy is based on fishing as
it is the case for most of the Bijagos islands’ communities.
Boy on Sand Dunes
A young boy sits on one of the sand dunes in the Sahara Desert. The dunes are encroaching
what was once his homestead. The inhabitants make efforts to stop the progression of dunes
with nets, in the hope of saving their lives, or face inevitable migration.
Oasis in Desert
A grid of fence to slow the advance of sand dunes into this oasis. No water, no life.
Young Girl Carrying Wood
Young Boy on Balcony
China is now a pivotal factor in the global warming struggle. As China has opened up to the
world, the world’s most populous nation now equals the U.S. as one of the biggest
greenhouse gas emitters. Within China itself, the impact of climate change on rice crops is a
major concern as food production is a fundamental component of the economy.
Herders watch over thousands of sheep in the beautiful landscape of Inner Mongolia on August
22, 2007. Much of the once-green pastures of Inner Mongolia have turned into dust bowls
because of drought and climate change, as well as overgrazing.
The Dovekie acts as a real climate indicator, giving researchers information about the
temperature and health of marine ecosystems in the Arctic. Polar landscapes aren’t the
only things being turned upside down by climate change: ecosystems are undergoing similar
strain. Hence the use by scientists of certain plant or animal species as bioindicators, or
climate sentinels. It feeds on copepods, a planktonic crustacean. At low sea temperature,
copepods become large, rich in lipids and thus easier to catch. Conversely, if the sea warms
up, the little auk will find it increasingly hard to feed itself and its chicks. Little auks
make an excellent sentinel species since they are directly affected by environmental change.
Ralph Lee Hopkins
In 2002, there were 2,749 lions in Kenya. Today, only about 2,000 exist. Kenya is losing
approximately 100 lions each year, due to disease, climate change, habitat loss, human
population growth and increased farming. At the current rate of decline, lions in Kenya could
face extinction within the next 20 years unless urgent action is taken.