World Wildlife Day: Celebrating wild fauna and flora!

Man`s interminable desire and greed has brought many wildlife species to the brink of extinction.

Updated: Mar 03, 2014, 16:00 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ritu Singh

Man`s interminable desire and greed has brought many wildlife species to the brink of extinction.
Our world`s wildlife remains in crisis and they also face many threats such as habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, and unregulated development. But the greatest threat to many species is poaching and the illegal trafficking of wildlife parts and products.

Keeping this in view, on December 20, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 3 as World Wildlife Day, as an opportunity to celebrate all wildlife, both plants and animals, and to raise awareness of the benefit of ensuring their continued existence.

The General Assembly said that this reaffirms “the intrinsic value of wildlife and its various contributions, including its ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic contributions to sustainable development and human well-being.”

World Wildlife Day also acknowledges the security impacts of the global conservation crisis. Wildlife trafficking, now has become one of the most transnational organized crime today with revenues up to $10 billion and it jeopardizes the decades of conservation work by the international community. Wildlife trafficking not only decimates endangered species, it also threatens security, undermines rule of law, fuels corruption, hinders sustainable economic development, and contributes to the spread of disease.

It was on March 3, 1973, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was adopted. CITES is a critical international treaty that works to ensure that global trade does not threaten the survival of species in the wild.
Constituting of 179 member states CITES is one of the world`s most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation through the regulation of trade in wild fauna and flora.

CITES regulates international trade in over 35,000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, ensuring their survival in the wild with benefit.