United Nations(UN)’s World Wildlife Day is annually observed across the globe on 3rd March to celebrate the wild fauna and flora across the globe and to create awareness about conservation of wildlife.
The events of the world Wildlife day are organised by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat in collaboration with the organizations in the United Nations system.
World Wildlife day 2021 on 3rd march 2021 is celebrated under the theme “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”.
The first World Wildlife Day was observed on 3rd March 2014.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar mentioned the government was working on re-introduction of Cheetah which went extinct in 1952. He further mentioned that India has thriving wildlife and biodiversity with 70 percent of global tiger population and 70 percent of Asiatic Lions. The country also has 60 percent of the Leopard population.
Objective of 2021 World Wildlife Day:
- To promote forest and forest wildlife management practices that accommodate both human well-being and the long-term conservation of forests
- To promote the value of traditional practices that contribute to establishing a more sustainable relationship with these crucial natural systems.
i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted a resolution on 20 December 2013 at its 68th session and proclaimed the 3rd March of every year as the UN World Wildlife Day.
ii.The resolution has also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of World Wildlife day.
Why 3rd March?
The 3rd March marks the day of the signing of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973.
The CITES Secretariat, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Jackson Wild has partnered and organised the international Film Showcase that highlights the stores that showcase the importance of forests, forest-dwelling species of wild fauna and flora and the ecosystem services to the people across the globe who rely on them to meet their needs.
i.The World Wildlife Day highlights the role of forest, forest species and ecosystems services in sustaining the livelihood of Indigenous and local communities who have historic connections to the forested areas and its adjacent areas.
ii.The day aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) 1, 12, 13 and 15:
- SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
- SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
- SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
- SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
iii.Around 200 to 350 million people live in or adjacent to forested areas across the globe.
iv.Around 28% of the land surface area including the most ecologically intact forests on the planet are managed by the indigenous people.