March 3 is globally recognized as World Wildlife Day. The day is dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. As we know, the world’s wildlife count and sustainability have dwindled significantly in the past decade. United Nations noted, “Though World Wildlife Day is an annual celebration, wildlife conservation is an issue that needs attention and action every day.
Here is everything you need to know about World Wildlife Day 2021.
Significance of the date:
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973 was signed on March 3, therefore, the 68th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) announced on December 20, 2013, the same day would be celebrated as World Wildlife Day. The idea was proposed by Thailand. The CITES is one of the most powerful measures against illegal trading which often results in wildlife extinction as member countries and monitoring bodies keep a keen eye on hunting and trading activities. India is one of the contracting parties of CITES.
World Wildlife Day 2021 theme:
This year, the UN has announced the theme as “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet.”
It is a way to highlight how important forests and ecosystems they sustain are important for human livelihoods. The focus is more on “Indigenous and local communities with historic ties to forested and forest-adjacent areas,” this number is roughly 28% of land use globally. The UN goals of decreasing poverty along with ensuring that resources are used sustainably lines up well in this theme.
The UN noted that nearly 200 and 350 million people either live within/adjacent to forests globally or are directly dependant on forest resources for life and livelihood.
The forests around us and dependent communities are under direct threat due to multiple crises like climate change, biodiversity loss and the health etc. They also said this year is especially critical due to the “social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Celebration of World Wildlife Day 2021:
UN says this year the day is a celebration of forest-based livelihoods. The aim is to promote forest and forest wildlife management practices that is inclusive of human well-being (both cultural and economic).