World Wildlife Day

World Wildlife DayWorld Wildlife Day, celebrated each year on 3 March, commemorates the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. The theme for 2022 is “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration”.


About World Wildlife Day

World Wildlife Day celebrates the beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that their conservation provides to people. At the same time, World Wildlife Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime and human-induced reduction of species, which have wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts. Each year, World Wildlife Day is celebrated on 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973.

 


 

2022 World Wildlife Day Theme

World Wildlife Day 2022 will be held under the theme “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration” to raise awareness of the state of endangered and critically endangered wildlife, and to highlight the power of conservation efforts seeking to reverse their fate. Leading up to the year when the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is expected to be adopted, drawing attention to the status of some of the most critically endangered species of wild fauna and flora and their role in ecosystems will send a powerful message for urgent commitment. The theme will also highlight the impact of conservation efforts and promote best practice examples where species were brought back from the brink, and it will drive discussions towards imagining and implementing new solutions to conserve and sustainably use others.

Biodiversity loss is an existential threat to people and planet. The continued loss of wildlife species threatens to undermine entire ecosystems and puts into peril the well-being of all who rely on them. Yet, this is not inevitable: we have the power to change course and restore threatened species and their habitats. With the theme of “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration”, we wish to inspire action towards reversing the fate of key species of animals and plants. It is our hope that World Wildlife Day will help chart a path towards a sustainable future, with the goal of living in harmony with nature. Ultimately, we hope to spur on the needed political will to adopt a robust post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and secure our common future.

— CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero, 15 November 2021

According to figures by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, over 8,400 species of wild fauna and flora are critically endangered, while close to 30,000 more are understood to be endangered or vulnerable. Based on these estimates, it is suggested that over a million species are threatened with extinction. Continued loss of species and degradation of habitats and ecosystems threatens humanity as a whole, as people everywhere rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to meet all their needs, from food, medicines and health to fuel, housing, and clothing.

The celebrations will seek to draw attention to the conservation status of some of the most critically endangered species of wild fauna and flora, and to drive discussions towards imagining and implementing solutions to conserve them. All conversations will be inspired by and seek to inform efforts towards the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero hunger) 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns), 13 (Climate Action) 14 (Life Below Water) and 15 (Life on Land).

 


 

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

Launched on World Environment Day 2021, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature. The UN Decade runs from 2021 through 2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and the timeline scientists have identified as the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change. It aims to halt the degradation of ecosystems, and restore them to achieve global goals. Only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop the collapse of biodiversity.

Led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UN Decade is building a strong, broad-based global movement to ramp up restoration and put the world on track for a sustainable future. That will include building political momentum for restoration as well as thousands of initiatives on the ground. With its focus on ecosystem restoration, World Wildlife Day 2022 is part of the global movement of the Decade and will contribute to harnessing efforts to restore ecosystems all around the world.

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