Every year, March 3 is celebrated as World Wildlife Day. Wildlife plays an important role in maintaining the biodiversity of the environment. This day is celebrated to raise awareness regarding the world’s wild animals and plants, the threats they are facing for urbanization, poaching, pollution, destruction of wildlife habitats. In effect, also to understand the urgent need for governments, civil society, private sector actors, and individuals to raise voices and take actions to conserve wildlife. Not for the sake of wildlife, but for the sake of the sustainability of human beings also, we need to care about wildlife. There is an urgent need to fight against the ongoing and growing wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental, and social impacts.
Wildlife crime ranks alongside drug smuggling, human trafficking, and illegal arms trade as one of the most lucrative activities funding organized crime and terrorism. It undermines legitimate activities such as eco-tourism or sustainable hunting, which provide long-term livelihoods and generate foreign exchange income.
The theme of this year is ‘Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet’. The United Nations intends to highlight the role of the ecosystem and forests in providing livelihood to millions of people. On Dec 20, 2013 – United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) decided that March 3 would be celebrated as World Wildlife Day, as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed on the same day in 1973. This year, this day is dedicated to the communities who depend on wildlife directly, to secure their livelihood and give attention to the traditional knowledge of them who are preserving the forest ecosystem and its wildlife for centuries.
In India also we have an enriched diversity in wildlife. There are many organizations, who are constantly in the task of preserving wildlife.
But, the idea of preservation and the realization of the importance of wildlife has to be a daily practice. As UN rightly stated, “Though World Wildlife Day is an annual celebration, wildlife conservation is an issue that needs attention and action every day. “
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