What is World Wildlife Day All About?
World Wildlife Day was officially made a global holiday on December 20th, 2013 when UNGA (the United Nations General Assembly) dedicated March 3rd as a day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Since then, this day is to be dedicated to raising awareness of the conservation of wild animals and plants.
The UNGA resolution reaffirms the value of wildlife and its contributions to ecology, genetics, the economy, science and education, culture and recreation, human well-being, etc. This observance is to recognize the importance of wildlife and habitats in our everyday lives.
Wildlife impacts us in many ways. The benefits of investing in conservation might not be obvious at first, but they are often surprisingly large and wide-ranging. We all enjoy many benefits from nature, so this shouldn’t cost us much.
The Importance of Wildlife Conservation
We all enjoy many benefits from nature, so this shouldn’t cost us much. Conservation has economic benefits. It helps sustain fisheries worth more than US$70 billion and maintains the supply of timber worth nearly US$400 billion.
Sustainable tourism is said to provide work for approximately one in ten people around the world. It is also home to about three million species yet to be explored and preserved by scientists, which uses valuable biological resources.
Conservation is also good for us. We all benefit from healthy ecosystems, with their ability to purify water, sequester carbon, mitigate climate change, and provide food. We can even improve our mental health through contact with nature.
Conservation needs to be built at every level—corporate, national, and global—and in every sector—natural resource management (NRM), infrastructure development (sometimes called infrastructure-conservation), tourism, education, healthcare, and social services.
With a growing world population, it is estimated that by 2050, we will need 60 percent more food, 45 percent more energy, and 30 percent more water. If we do not conserve our natural resources then the results could be disastrous for humanity.
The way we live can have a huge effect on natural resources. To protect our environment, we must be aware of the effect our lifestyle has on wildlife and habitats.
The Theme of This Year’s World Wildlife Day
This year this day will be colored with the theme “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”.
World wildlife day can be celebrated by being part of an event hosted by your local ZOO, research center, or animal sanctuary. Anybody who can, can donate, either financially or with their time, to a wild-animal shelter.
Because of this year’s theme, you can try to be a part of the big cat sanctuary.
Do you know which are the 10 biggest cats in the world?
- Caracal – weighs 19 kg and lives in Africa, Central Asia, and Southwestern Asia
- Clouded Leopard – weighs 23 kg and lives around Nepal, Bhutan, and parts of Northeastern India
- Eurasian Lynx – weighs 36 kg and lives in Western Europe, Russia to Tibet and Central Asia
- Cheetah – weighs 54 kg and lives in Sub-Saharan Africa and Northern Iran
- Leopard – weighs 65 kg and lives in Africa and Asia
- Snow Leopard weighs 75 kg and lives in Central Asia to Northwest China and Tibet
- Cougar (Mountain Lion) – weighs 120 kg and lives from Argentina to Chile to Southeastern Alaska
- Jaguar – weighs 136 kg and lives in Southern Arizona, New Mexico, northern Argentina and Brazil
- Lion – weighs 272 kg and lives in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Siberian Tiger – weighs 423 kg and lives in Northeastern China, Korea, Russia, India and around the Himalayas.
Because over the years the number of big cats in the world is decreasing, this day gives us the opportunity to raise awareness about this issue and support national and global actions to save the species.
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