A report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has revealed that 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.
However, 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.
Each year, World Wildlife Day (WWD) is celebrated on 3 March, the day of the signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973.
World Wildlife Day celebrates the beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and raises awareness of the multitude of benefits that their conservation provides to people whereas the 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.
This year’s celebration, under the theme, “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration” is expected 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).