New Delhi: Every year 3rd of March the world is celebrated the World Wildlife day to promote awareness of the planet’s wild fauna and flora.
It is a United Nations International day to celebrate all the world’s wild animals and plants and the contribution that they make to our lives and the health of the planet.
The theme for World Wildlife Day for the year 2023 is ‘Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation’.
The date also marks the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. CITES aims to prevent international trade from threatening species’ survival.
World Wildlife Day 2023 also acknowledges the significant contribution CITES has made to sustainability, wildlife and biodiversity conservation and how this contribution has been enhanced by the bridge-building and partnership work done within the CITES framework.
It also recognizes how CITES has partnered and collaborated with other conventions, UN agencies and other organizations in the service of the broader UN goals, such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Post-2020 Framework on Biodiversity (which has just been adopted at CBD CoP15 in Montreal in December).
This World Wildlife Day is also a celebration of CITES as it turns 50. In recognition of the work CITES does and the collaborative work for conservation that is going on globally.
This day is also an opportunity to highlight the importance of wildlife and their habitats. It is also a day of global significance to promote the need for their protection and conservation. Each year, the United Nations carefully select a theme to draw attention to specific challenges faced by wildlife populations and ecosystems.
The day holds significance as it coincides with the adoption of CITES, an international agreement that aims to prevent the trade of endangered species from threatening their survival. World Wildlife Day is a reminder that the conservation of biodiversity is crucial for the survival of all species, including humans.
History of World Wildlife Day
On March 16, 2013, the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP16) was held in Bangkok. It was during this meeting that the Kingdom of Thailand sponsored a resolution. This resolution designates March 3 as World Wildlife Day.
On December 20, 2013, the Sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly officially proclaimed March 3 as World Wildlife Day. This date coincides with the day CITES was adopted in 1973.
The Secretariat of CITES, along with other relevant United Nations organizations, is responsible for facilitating the implementation of World Wildlife Day.
CITES, with 183 member states, remains one of the world’s most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation by regulating the trade in wild fauna and flora.