The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has announced that the theme of United Nations World Wildlife Day 2020 is: “Sustaining all life on Earth”.
The year 2020, known as a “biodiversity super year”, will host several major global events that place biodiversity at the forefront of the global sustainable development agenda. The promoters say it provides an opportunity to deliver transformative progress for the conservation and sustainable use of the species of wild animals and plants in response to global sustainable development challenges that can best be addressed with nature-based solutions.
The theme of World Wildlife Day 2020, “Sustaining all life on earth”, according to CITES, encompasses all wild animal and plant species as a component of biodiversity as well as the livelihoods of people, especially those who live closest to the nature. It also underlines the importance of sustainable use of natural resources in support of the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including Goal 14 (Life Below Water), Goal 15 (Life on Land), Goal 1 (No Poverty) and Goal 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns).
CITES Secretary-General, Ivonne Higuero, said: “Wildlife, namely the species of both wild animals and plants for the purpose of World Wildlife Day, is an integral part of the world’s biological diversity which has the greatest resonance with the general public. In the run-up to and on World Wildlife Day 2020 we will raise awareness of the multitude of benefits of wildlife to people, the interlinkages between the various components of biodiversity and the threats they are facing.
“It is also a good opportunity to call on governments around the world, civil society, private sector and individuals to add their voices and take actions to help conserve wildlife and ensure sustainable use before it’s too late.”
The CITES Secretariat, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and other UN system organisations, member states, biodiversity-related conventions and civil society, are unrolling a series of global and national events and social media activities around World Wildlife Day 2020, including a high-level event at the UN Headquarters in New York on March 3, 2020, a film festival and international youth art competition.
In line with the UN General Assembly Resolution proclaiming World Wildlife Day, the CITES Secretariat has called on all member states and organisations of the United Nations system and other global, regional and sub-regional organisations, non-governmental organisations and all interested individuals, to:
- observe and raise awareness of the theme for World Wildlife Day 2020;
- associate the celebrations with major national and international conservation events;
- build collaborative partnerships;
- organise campaigns to support the conservation and sustainable use of wild animals and plants and use targeted strategies to influence consumer behaviour and reduce demand for illegally sourced wildlife and their products; and,
- make use of the World Wildlife Day logo as widely as possible.
CITES disclosed that more information on the values of wildlife as a component of biodiversity, the interlinkage between genetic, species and ecosystem diversity, the various threats facing wildlife, and promotional materials to illustrate the theme would be made available at a later stage on the World Wildlife Day website and social media channels.