The International Day of the Tropics is observed every year on 29 June to celebrate extraordinary diversity of tropics.
The Day also highlighting unique challenges the Tropical nations face.
- It aims to raise awareness about specific challenges faced by tropical regions across the world, the far-reaching implications of issues affecting the world’s tropical zone, and to underline the important role that topical countries will play in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Theme of International Day of the Tropics 2021:
- As per the State of the Tropics Report 2021, the theme this year is ‘The Digital Divide in the Tropics’.
Significance of International Day of the Tropics:
- It provides opportunity to take stock of progress across tropics, to share tropical stories and expertise.
- It also acknowledges diversity and potential of tropics region.
- On June 14th, 2016 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that declared June 29th as the International Day of the Tropics.
- The UN chose the date June 29th to mark the anniversary of the inaugural “State of Tropics Report” (SOTT).
- The report was launched in 2014 by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi from Myanmar (Burma).
- Tropics are a region of Earth, defined as area between tropic of Cancer (23°27 N) and the tropic of Capricorn (23°27 S).
- The Tropics account for 36 percent of the Earth’s landmass.
- It includes the Equator and parts of North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
Climatic Condition of the Tropics:
- This region is warm all year round.
- The temperature in the Tropics ranges from 77 to 82 degrees F.
- The Tropics get a lot of sun and only have two seasons i.e., the wet season and dry season.
- Some parts of the Tropics, like the Amazon Basin, get nearly 9 feet of rain per year while other areas, such as the Sahara Desert, get only 2 to 10 centimeters of rain a year.
- This difference in precipitation affects which plants and animals live in the different parts of the Tropics.
Important Facts of Tropics:
- The Tropics are home to approximately 80% of world’s biodiversity (much of its language and cultural diversity).
- It hosts about 95% of world’s mangrove forests by area and 99% of mangrove species.
- Although since 1980, area of mangrove forest has decreased in all tropical regions.
- The Tropics are important because of the number of economic exports come from these regions.
- Also, about 40 percent of the world’s population lives within the tropical zone.
Loss of Biodiversity:
- While biodiversity is greater in the Tropics, the loss of biodiversity is also greater here than in the rest of the world.
- This loss of biodiversity is partly attributed to human activity, such as:
- Destruction of forests and marine ecosystems
- Spread of diseases and invasive species
- Overexploitation of industrial fishing fleets
- Commercial hunters
- Growing impacts of climate change
- Due to the reasons given above, many species of plants and animals in the Tropics face the loss of their habitats. They become vulnerable and endangered.
- Humans too living in the Tropics face many challenges as well.
- More people live in slums in the Tropics than in the rest of the world.