The United Nations(UN)’s World Wildlife Day(WWD) is annually observed across the globe on 3rd March to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora.
3rd March 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
- The day offers a platform to celebrate the varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness about the benefits of the conservation of wildlife flora and fauna.
The theme of WWD 2023 is “Partnerships for wildlife conservation”.
- The 2023 theme honours the people who are making a difference towards protecting wildlife.
The implementation of WWD is facilitated by the secretariat of the CITIES in collaboration with the relevant UN organisations.
i.During its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/C.2/68/L.48 on 20th December 2013, and proclaimed the 3rd March of every year as World Wildlife Day.
ii.Previously, 3 March was designated as World Wildlife Day in a resolution made at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP16) held in Bangkok, Thailand from 3 to 14 March 2013.
- The resolution was sponsored by the Kingdom of Thailand, the Host of CITES CoP16.
iii.The first ever WWD was observed on 3rd March 2014.
Why 3rd March?
3rd March marks the day of the adoption of the CITES in 1973.
i.CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), an international agreement between governments which aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species.
ii.CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
iii.On 3rd March 1973, The text of the Convention was finally agreed upon at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington, D.C., United States of America(USA) and CITES entered in force on 1st July 1975.
i.According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), 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.
ii.1 in 5 People Rely on Wild Species for Income and Food, while 2.4 billion people depend on wood fuel for cooking.
iii.The increasing global biodiversity crisis, with a million species of plants and animals facing extinction, threatens these contributions to these people.
About CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora):
Secretary General– Ivonne Higuero
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland