On 20 December 2013, the Sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly decided to proclaim 3 March, the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as World Wildlife Day, to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. Today marks the first celebration internationally of World Wildlife Day.
Overwhelming support for World Wildlife Day has come from countries across all regions and organisations dealing with agriculture, development, nature conservation and maritime matters to customs, justice and police as well as the economy, finance, trade and tourism. Civil society groups from across the globe and many committed individuals have also expressed their enthusiastic support for wildlife as has the private sector.
Special events to mark the day are planned in Bangladesh, Belgium, China, Germany, Mongolia, New Zealand, Peru, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, among others.
You can celebrate World Wildlife Day by helping to raise awareness and show your support for wildlife by getting involved on social networks using the Twitter hashtag #WorldWildlifeDay and the slogan: ‘let’s go wild for wildlife’.
World Wildlife Day gives the international community a day to celebrate wildlife, to reflect on the relationship between humans and wild plants and animals, and to find pathways for a sustainable future where people and wildlife can coexist in harmony. People around the world have clearly embraced the Day.
“While the threats to wildlife are great, we can reduce them through our collective efforts. On this inaugural World Wildlife Day, I urge all sectors of society to end illegal wildlife trafficking and commit to trading and using wild plants and animals sustainably and equitably”, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said in declaring today to be the inaugural World Wildlife Day.
CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon said “We are thrilled by the enthusiasm and overwhelming support for wildlife coming from so many places and people. It gives us great hope that we can secure a sustainable future for wild plants and animals, as well as for ourselves”. “This special Day in the UN calendar has given the world a chance to reconnect with our planet’s wild side and has drawn global attention to our collective responsibility – as citizens and consumers – to bring the illegal wildlife trade to an end” added Scanlon.