World Wildlife Day Film Showcase to explore humanity’s essential relationship with forests

Updated on 28 October 2022





World Wildlife Day Film Showcase to
explore humanity’s essential
relationship with forests

World Wildlife Day 2021 Film Showcase announced


Geneva/New York/Jackson Hole, 23 November 2020 – The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Jackson Wild, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced today that they will team up to organize an international film showcase focusing on the immense value of our planet’s forests, their extensive ecosystems services and the millions of human livelihoods they sustain.

The Film Showcase will be one of the global events that will accompany next year’s UN World Wildlife Day (3 March) celebrations and help illustrate its theme, "Forests and livelihoods: sustaining people and planet".

Winners and finalist films entered into the competition will be shown throughout 2021, spreading the message that the forests are pillars of humanity’s social and economic well-being, as well as key elements of the planet’s environmental health and biological diversity.

CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero said: "The World Wildlife Day 2021 Film Showcase offers a powerful platform to discuss the experiences of communities whose livelihoods are built on their historic relationship with forests and its wildlife. It is also an opportunity to discuss the immense value of the ecosystem services forests provide to people everywhere and to the global economy. As we seek to respond to multiple planetary crises, from climate change to biodiversity loss and the effects of a global pandemic, the film showcase will highlight the experiences of groups and communities who have established a safe and sustainable relationship with some of the planet’s most important natural systems."

In 2013, the CITES Secretariat was designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the global facilitator for the celebration of World Wildlife Day each year in collaboration with organizations in the United Nations system.

"We believe in the power of story to inspire awe at the wonders of our natural world and ignite the critical changes that will be required to restore and protect it," agreed Lisa Samford, Executive Director of Jackson Wild.  "Covering over a third of the Earth’s surface, forests are a home to 80% of all terrestrial animals, plants and insects and sustain the livelihoods of millions of people, providing ecosystems services and resources that are essential to the global economy."

Timeline and planned activities

The call for entry will close on 8 January 2021 and finalists will be announced in mid-February 2021. Winners will be presented at a high-level, virtual event to coincide with the global celebration of UN World Wildlife Day on 3 March 2021.Forest films will then be made available for free, educational online streaming throughout the world.

Award Categories and Descriptions:

  • People & Forests: Awarded to the film that best communicates humanity’s social, cultural, economic, or spiritual interconnectivity to forests.
  • My Forest: Awarded to the best forest-related film created by people living in the forest region featured in the film, including films presented by indigenous community members and independent filmmakers and production teams focusing on their local forests.
  • Future of Forests: Awarded to the film that most effectively explores the initiatives of individuals or organizations working to protect and preserve forest ecosystems and those that rely on them and/or scientific forest research, forest sustainability, forest-related conservation issues & solutions. Issues addressed may include traditional knowledge, forest-dependent livelihoods, climate change, biodiversity loss, zoonotic diseases related to deforestation, and the loss of forest resources.
  • Living Forests: Awarded to the film that most effectively showcases the rich diversity and complexity of forest ecosystems and the species that inhabit them.
  • Forest Micro Movie: Awarded to the best forest-related film 5 minutes in run time or less.

Additional Award Categories may be added prior to the finalist announcement to honor as many worthy films as possible.

Submission Guidelines:

There is no entry fee for submission, Any film completed after January 1st, 2016 related to terrestrial forests is eligible to enter, provided a streaming link to the full film is made available for free, educational, online streaming either freely or by request as part of the 2021 World Wildlife Day Film Showcase: Forests hosted by Jackson Wild on the Eventive Platform. Submissions in all languages are welcomed. Programs in a language other than English must be subtitled in English for presentation to the judges and for streaming as part of the World Wildlife Day Film Showcase: Forests. Eligible entries must complete an online submission form via

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

United Nations Development Programme, Sangita Khadka, +212 906 5043, [email protected]

CITES Secretariat: Francisco Pérez, +41 22 917 1447, [email protected],

Jackson Wild: Abbey Greene, +1 307 200 3286, [email protected]


The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed on 3 March 1973 and entered into force on 1 July 1975. With 183 Parties (182 countries + the European Union), it remains one of the world's most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of international trade in over 38,000 species of wild animals and plants. CITES-listed species are used by people around the world in their daily lives for food, health care, furniture, housing, tourist souvenirs, cosmetics or fashion. CITES seeks to ensure that international trade in such species is sustainable, legal and traceable and contributes to both the livelihoods of the communities that live closest to them and to national economies for a healthy planet and the prosperity of the people in support of UN Sustainable Development Goals.

About UNDP
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at or follow at @UNDP.

About Jackson Wild
For almost 30 years, the Jackson Wild Summit has grown a reputation for hosting extraordinary convenings science, nature and conservation media stakeholders. The World Wildlife Day Film Showcase brings together stakeholders from all over the world to focus on a single global theme. Jackson Wild’s international board members include: ARTE France, BBC Studios, Blue Ant Media / Love Nature, Borealés, Conservation International, Discovery, Doclights, FujiFilm Optical Devices - Fujinon Lenses, Gorongosa Restoration Project, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, Humane Society International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, National Geographic Partners, National Geographic Society, Nature/WNET, Netflix, Off the Fence Productions, ORF/Universum, PBS, Saint Thomas Productions, San Diego Zoo, Seeker, Smithsonian Channel, Sony Electronics, SVT - Swedish Television, The Nature Conservancy, Terra Mater Factual Studios, Vulcan Productions, Wanda Films, WGBH, and World Wildlife Fund US.

About the United Nations World Wildlife Day
On 20 December 2013, the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3 March as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. The date is the day of the signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. World Wildlife Day has quickly become the most prominent global annual event dedicated to wildlife. It is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the various challenges faced by these species. The day also reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.