Introduction of the Tropics
The Tropics are a region of the Earth, roughly defined as the area between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn. Although topography and other factors contribute to climatic variation, tropical locations are typically warm and experience little seasonal change in day-to-day temperature. An important feature of the Tropics is the prevalence of rain in the moist inner regions near the equator, and that the seasonality of rainfall increases with the distance from the equator.
The Tropical region accounts for 40 per cent of the world’s total surface area and are host to approximately 80 per cent of the world’s biodiversity and much of its language and cultural diversity. With modernization and industrialization driven by population growth in recent decades, the tropical region is facing several challenges such as climate change, deforestation, logging, urbanization, and demographic changes.
Inception of International Day of the Tropics
On 29 June 2014, the inaugural ‘State of the Tropics Report’ was launched as the culmination of a collaboration between twelve leading tropical research institutions. The report offers a unique perspective on this increasingly important region. The second State of the Tropics Reported was released in 2020.
To mark the anniversary of the report’s launch, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/70/267 in 2016, declaring that 29 June of each year is to be observed as the International Day of the Tropics.
29 June 2020 is the fifth International Day of the Tropics.
The international Day of the Tropics was designated to raise awareness to the specific challenges faced by tropical areas, the far-reaching implications of the issues affecting the world’s tropical zone and the need at all levels, so as to raise awareness and to underline the important role that tropical countries will play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The International Day of the Tropics celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the tropics while highlighting unique challenges and opportunities nations of the Tropics face. It provides an opportunity to take stock of progress across the tropics, to share tropical stories and expertise and to acknowledge the diversity and potential of the region.