World Wildlife Day Current Affairs - 2019

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World Wildlife Day 2019

World Wildlife Day 2019 was observed on March 3rd with the theme ‘Life below water: for people and planet.’

World Wildlife Day Objectives

  • To provide an opportunity to celebrate the beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora.
  • To raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. At the same time.
  • To remind the world of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime and human-induced reduction of species, which have a wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impact.

 

 

World Wildlife Day also complements the efforts under the Sustainable Development Goal #15 which focuses on halting biodiversity loss.

Life below water: for people and planet

The theme of World Wildlife Day 2019 ‘Life below water: for people and planet’ complements the Goal 14 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG14) aims to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”

Why March 3rd as World Wildlife Day?

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on its 68th session on 20 December 2013 decided to proclaim 3rd March as World Wildlife Day.  March 3rd is the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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March 3: World Wildlife Day

The World Wildlife Day is observed every year on 3rd March to celebrate and raise awareness about the world’s wild fauna and flora. It is celebrated to mark the signing of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) on this day in 1973.

Significance of Day

  • It aims to create awareness and encourages people across the globe to protect endangered species.
  • It also calls for taking up urgent steps to fight wildlife crime which has wide-ranging environmental, economic and social impacts.

The theme for this year is ‘Big Cats: Predators under Threat’. Big cats are among most widely recognized and admired animals across the globe. These predators are facing many and varied threats, mostly caused by human activities. Overall, their populations are declining at disturbing rate due to loss of habitat and prey, conflicts with people, poaching and illegal trade. The theme aims to raise awareness about plight of big cats and galvanize support for many global and national actions that underway to save these iconic species. It also expands definition of big cats being used, which includes not only lion, tiger, leopard and jaguar (4 largest wild cats that can roar) but also cheetah, snow leopard, puma, clouded leopard, etc.

Background

The World Wildlife Day was designated by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at its 68th session on 20 December 2013. On this day in 1973, CITES was adopted.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

CITES is international agreement to regulate worldwide commercial trade in wild animal and plant species. Its aim is to ensure that international trade does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild. It was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN. It entered into force in July 1975.

It is administered through United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It’s secretariat is located in Geneva (Switzerland). CITES is legally binding on state parties to the convention, which are obliged to adopt their own domestic legislation to implement its goals.

It classifies plants and animals according to three categories, or appendices, based on how threatened. In addition CITES also restricts trade in items made from such plants and animals, such as food, clothing, medicine, and souvenirs.

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