World Wildlife Day is celebrated every year on March 3 globally to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. UN noted, “Though World Wildlife Day is an annual celebration, wildlife conservation is an issue that needs attention every day.

On this day, The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973 was signed, therefore, the 68th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 20, 2013, announced that this day would be celebrated as World Wildlife Day.

 

This year, the UN has announced the theme “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet.”

The theme is described on wildlifeday.org as:  “As a way to highlight the central role of forests, forest species and ecosystem services in sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally, and particularly of Indigenous and local communities with historic ties to forested and forest-adjacent areas.”

The themes for previous years were – “Sustaining all life on earth” (2020), “Life below water: for people and planet” (2019), “Big cats – predators under threat” (2018),  “Listen to the young voices” (2017)

Over 800 million people live in tropical forests and savannahs in developing countries. Indigenous and rural communities have a particularly close relationship with these natural systems. They rely on them to meet their essential needs, from food and shelter to energy and medicines, but they also maintain a strong personal, cultural and spiritual relationship with these environments. Indigenous peoples and local communities are also historic custodians of the planet’s most important reservoirs of biodiversity, including forests.

The ecosystem services and resources forests and woodlands provide, from filtering and storing freshwater to ensuring the fertility of soils or to regulating the climate, are essential to the global economy and to people everywhere. Yet forests are now at the crossroads of the multiple planetary crises we currently face, from climate change to biodiversity loss and the social and economic impacts of the current global pandemic.

  • observe and raise awareness of the theme for World Wildlife Day 2021;
  • involve indigenous peoples and rural and local communities with experience and knowledge in the use and conservation of forest ecosystems in all World Wildlife Day events and celebrations;
  • associate the celebrations with major national and international conservation events;
  • build collaborative partnerships;
  • make use of the World Wildlife Day logos as widely as possible.

 

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