On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March- the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973- as UN World Wildlife Day (WWD). This day celebrates and most importantly raises awareness of the world’s wild plants and animals. Since its introduction, it has now become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife!
Every year WWD day has a theme, last year’s theme was “Forests and Livelihoods: sustaining people and planet” The theme for 2022 WWD will be “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration”. The aim of the day will be to draw attention to the most critically endangered species of wild flora and fauna, and most importantly to drive discussions towards implementing solutions to conserve them. All conversations will seek to inform efforts towards the achievement of the 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).
Why is it important?
According to the 2020 Living Planet Report, there has been a 68% average decline of birds, mammals, fish, amphibians and reptiles since 1970. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, over 8,400 species of wild fauna and flora are critically endangered, and approximately 30,000 more are understood to be vulnerable. Based on this, over a million species are threatened with extinction.
The threat of loss of species, ecosystems and habitats has a huge effect on all life on Earth. Humans rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to meet all their needs, from food, to fuel, medicines, housing, and clothing. Millions depend on nature as the source of their livelihoods and economic opportunities. Biodiversity is what keeps the earth balanced and healthy, with the air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat all relying on biodiversity! This is why it is essential that we help to conserve these endangered species and help to preserve their ecosystems and habitats.
What will happen on the day?
The day will hold a virtual global event bringing together representatives of UN member States, UN system organizations and multilateral environmental agreements, civil society and the private sector for a series of discussions along the theme of the day.
The provisional agenda can be found here, it includes opening remarks from the United Nations Development programme, as well as announcing the winner of the international youth Art contest, a panel discussion of the theme and a film showcase.
The event will be live-streamed on YouTube so that everyone can feel like they are a part of this very special and momentous day and help create global awareness and understanding of the biodiversity issue we are currently facing. You will be able to watch it on March 3 2022 on the World Wildlife Day official YouTube Channel.
Zero Hour’s COP 15 proposals:
Along with WWD, the CEE Bill also aims to tackle the ecological emergency by ensuring that the UK Government makes commitments to conserve the natural world by protecting and restoring ecosystems. Both WWD and the CEE Bill will help world leaders be aware of the issue and how best to combat it. Zero Hour’s COP15 briefing sets out a number of proposals for the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) which is set to be adopted at COP15. Here is what the briefing covers:
- Taking joined-up action on the planetary emergency
- Tackling the root causes of the destruction of nature
- Halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 against a baseline of 2020
- Learning from the mistakes of past area-based conservation targets
- Implementing, reporting and financing
How can you help?
If you haven’t already signed up as a supporter, you can do so here. You can also talk to your political representatives about why they should back the CEE bill. See our campaigners hub for resources on how to do so.