Billions of people, in developed and developing nations, benefit daily from the use of wild species for food, energy, materials, medicine, recreation, inspiration and many other vital contributions to human well-being......
The incalculable value of wildlife
Billions of people, in developed and developing nations, benefit daily from the use of wild species for food, energy, materials, medicine, recreation, inspiration and many other vital contributions to human well-being.
The accelerating global biodiversity crisis, with a million species of plants and animals facing extinction, threatens these contributions to people.
World Wildlife Day (WWD) is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that their conservation provides to people. At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime and human-induced reduction of species, which have wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts. Given these various negative effects, Sustainable Development Goal 15 focuses on halting biodiversity loss.
On 20 December 2013, the Sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly decided to proclaim 3 March as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. The date is the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973, which plays an important role in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the species’ survival.
The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in collaboration with other relevant United Nations organizations, facilitates the implementation of World Wildlife Day.
With 183 Member States, CITES remains one of the world's most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation through the regulation of trade in wild fauna and flora.
Secretary-General's message for 2023
On World Wildlife Day, we reflect on our responsibility to protect the magnificent diversity of life on our planet. And we recognize our abject failure. Human activities are laying waste to once-thriving forests, jungles, farmland, oceans, rivers, seas, and lakes.
One million species teeter on the brink of extinction, due to habitat destruction, fossil fuel pollution and the worsening climate crisis. We must end this war on nature. The good news is that we have the tools, the knowledge, and the solutions.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which has helped protect thousands of plants and animals. And last year’s agreement on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework marked an important step towards putting our planet on a path to healing.
As this year’s theme - ‘Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation’ - highlights, we need to work across governments, civil society, and the private sector to turn commitment into action.
And we need much bolder actions now to cut emissions, accelerate renewables, and build climate resilience. Throughout, we need to place the voices of local communities and indigenous people - our world’s most effective guardians of biodiversity - front and centre.
Today and every day, let us all do our part to preserve natural habitats and build a thriving future for all living beings.
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