In its resolution, the General Assembly reaffirmed the intrinsic value of wildlife and its various contributions, including ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic, to sustainable development and human well-being.
The General Assembly took note of the outcome of the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, held in Bangkok from 3 to 14 March 2013, in particular Resolution Conf. 16.1 designating 3 March as World Wildlife Day, in order to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora, and recognized the important role of CITES in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the survival of species.
The General Assembly requested the CITES Secretariat, in collaboration with relevant organizations of the United Nations system, to facilitate the implementation of World Wildlife Day.
Why is “World Wildlife Day” celebrated?
The world is abounding with flora and fauna. All the species of plants, animals and birds contribute to the existence of eco system in their own unique way. Wildlife has coexisted with human habitation since ages and one has become an integral part of another’s life.
Wildlife benefits us in innumerable ways: providing food, medicines apart from maintaining climate and regulating rains and replenishing natural resources. Not to mention the oxygen that lush green forest provide at the same time acting as natural air filters by cleaning the air.
Recognizing the contribution of flora and fauna into the environment and acknowledging its essentiality for existence of life on earth, the United Nations constituted CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) on 3rd March 1973 to protect and preserve the planet’s wildlife.
What is the need for “World Wildlife Day”?
Wildlife plays a very important role in the eco system and is essential for the existence of any form of life. Humans have existed together with wildlife for ages and have acknowledged the importance of wildlife.
Unfortunately we are losing our wildlife to factors like habitat extension, illegal trade or poaching, industrialization and population etc. The number of species of animals and plants are depleting at a fast pace and at an unprecedented rate never witnessed before.
Approximately 200 species of plants and animals are estimated to be getting extinct every 24 hours, which accounts to nearly 73000 species of plants and animals annually.
Considering the contribution of wildlife in balancing the eco system by causing rainfall, regulating climate, providing oxygen, providing medicine, herbs and food, increasing fertility of soil and regulating floods among various others.
We cannot afford losing the wildlife as it is imperative for the survival of humans. The earth with no wildlife will be a desolate and dry planet, impossible for survival of humans. Therefore, it becomes essential to protect and preserve the wildlife for our own good and for the longevity of the planet.
Celebrating our rich wildlife heritage on the “World Wildlife Day” is a good initiative in the way of protecting our flora and fauna. On “World Wildlife Day”, the threats to the wildlife are assessed and possible means of their elimination are devised. The celebrations are very important to raise awareness about the significance of wildlife.
What constitutes the greatest threat to wildlife?
Habitat Loss: World Wildlife Day
Habitat loss constitutes the greatest threat to the wildlife. According to a global estimate, approximately 50000 species are getting extinct annually due to deforestation and loss of habitat.
When humans expand their boundaries, they encroach into the wildlife, ultimately resulting in the loss of species’ natural habitat and their extinction. The extension of human settlement into the forest also results in man animal conflict, in which the animals ultimately pay the price.
Illegal Trade and Wildlife
Illegal trade cartels dealing in restricted wildlife products and poaching constitute one of the greatest threats to the wildlife. Every year when many species are pushed near to extinction, illegal traders make millions by killing animals and supplying their products.
There is still hope as many governments have taken initiative to protect wildlife, by forming strict laws for poachers and smugglers and by forming armed task forces dedicated to the protection of wildlife.
- 2021: Forests and Livelihoods: sustaining people and planet
- 2020: Sustaining all life on earth
- 2019: Life Below Water: For People And Planet
- 2018: Big Cats – Predators Under Threat
- 2017: Listen to The Young Voices
- 2016: The Future of Wildlife is in Our Hands
- 2015: It’s time to Get Serious About Wildlife Crime