January 20, 2010: “Capitals of Biodiversity” launched in France, Hungary and Slovakia!

Natureparif (France), Regional Environmental Center Slovakia and Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency (Hungary) have launched their national competitions “Capital of Biodiversity” today. Cities, towns and villages in all three countries can now apply to become a capital of biodiversity.

The launching events in Paris (France), Bratislava (Slovakia) and Siófok (Hungary) coincided with many international events marking the beginning of the International Year of Biodiversity. The International Year of Biodiversity been declared for 2010 by the United Nations.

“Every day animals and plants disappear from our planet forever,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and one of the keynote speakers at the opening ceremony in Paris. Another keynote speaker, Dr. Ahmed Djohglaf, Executive Secretary of UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), emphasises that the battle for life on Earth will be won or lost in the cities.

Competitions organized by the Biodiversity Foundation in Spain and German Environmental Aid in Germany will follow later this year.