“Given the current rate of poaching and smuggling, will future generations one day speak of elephants, rhinoceros and many other endangered species as we speak of mammoths: magnificent creatures belonging to the past?”. This statement, made by John E. Scanlon, Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), during a conference in Geneva last year raised the alarm for the urgent need to take action in support of Wildlife Conservation.
World Wildlife Day aims to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. Implemented in 2013 during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, this observance day occurs every March 3, commemorating the signature date of the CITES treaty, which has until now been signed by 183 Member State parties.
This year, World Wildlife Day is being celebrated under the theme “Listen to the Young Voices”. Given that almost one quarter of the World’s population is aged between 10 and 24, promoting the need for wildlife conservation to young people is paramount, as they will be the future leaders and decision makers of this world. “We have not yet succeeded in securing the future of the world’s wildlife”, John E. Scanlon explained, “But it belongs to each generation to tackle this issue”. At both the local and global level, this day is about listening to young voices, and encouraging them to be part of the next wildlife conservation initiatives. Many events will take place, gathering people, discussing a variety of topics ranging from habitat change to over-exploitation or illicit trafficking.
On March 3, it’s time for us all to listen to youth. And if they can help make a change, then so can you!
Spread the word on the social media, using the hashtags #DoOneThingToday, #YoungVoices or #WorldWildlifeDay, or the materials available on the official website. You can also go outside, and visit your local zoo, museum, botanical garden, or join one of the gatherings organized on this occasion. And if you want to remain involved after this observance day, then stay informed, speak up and take action to support Wildlife Conservation!
For more information, please visit : http://wildlifeday.org/