Launch Event for Year of Biodiversity at Freie Universität Berlin on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in the Botanic Garden

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Science picnic will kick off the university’s Year of Biodiversity, offering exclusive tours and the latest insights into biodiversity research / Free entry to the Botanic Garden from 12:00 noon

The Main Tropical Greenhouse is the architectural jewel of the Botanic Garden Be
The Main Tropical Greenhouse is the architectural jewel of the Botanic Garden Berlin. Image Credit: Bernd Wannenmacher
Freie Universität Berlin will officially kick off its Year of Biodiversity on May 22, 2024 - the International Day for Biodiversity. By declaring a Year of Biodiversity, the university aims to draw attention to researchers, projects, and campus initiatives that deal with the subject in a meaningful way. A rich program of events held throughout the year will offer students, other university members, and the general public the opportunity to get involved and make a joint contribution to the conservation of biodiversity. The first official event of the year is the science picnic taking place in the Botanic Garden Berlin on May 22, 2024. At 11:00 a.m., Freie Universität Berlin will introduce its biodiversity strategy - the first German university to have such a strategy - to a wide range of guests from across politics, culture, and academia. Following this, from 12:00 noon onwards, members of the public are invited to join in and attend short presentations about the biodiversity research currently taking place at Freie Universität Berlin, and to (re)discover the Botanic Garden in exclusive and informative tours. Entry to the Botanic Garden during the science picnic is completely free. A series of information stands presenting the green initiatives currently taking place at Freie Universität will also be available for visitors to peruse during the event.

"Biodiversity is declining drastically worldwide, with 150 animal and plant species becoming extinct every day. If we lose this diversity, we are undermining everything we need to survive on this planet," said Professor Günter M. Ziegler, president of Freie Universität Berlin. "Universities have an obligation to provide space for the immediate challenges facing our societies and to highlight potential courses of action that have a scientific basis. By declaring a Year of Biodiversity, we want to promote a change in thinking and play our part in advocating for more biodiversity conservation."

Biodiversity at Freie Universität Berlin

Researchers across multiple disciplines at Freie Universität Berlin and Botanic Garden Berlin are investigating biodiversity loss, its causes, and its consequences. The science picnic on May 22 is a free event, hosted in and around the Main Tropical Greenhouse at Botanic Garden Berlin, that will feature talks from specialists about their research and how they are working to promote biodiversity. The range of topics is broad, from butterfly monitoring to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal "Life on Land," from the relationship between the climate and biodiversity to the premiere of a biodiversity song. Visitors can also discover the Botanic Garden and its greenhouses in free tours taking place from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. and learn about the various green initiatives taking place on campus.

The Latin words veritas, justitia, and libertas, which frame the seal of Freie Universität Berlin, stand for the values that have defined the academic ethos of Freie Universität since its founding in December 1948.