The fate of animal and plant species and the ecosystems that depend on them is at the heart of this year’s UN World Wildlife Day.
The theme of “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration” identifies individual species like the Saiga antelope and California condors, as well as groups of species, including corals and seaweed, as the glue that holds their ecosystems together. These species’ wellbeing is thus crucial to conserve the biodiversity we have left and restore what has been lost, which is the focus of this year and part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
“In 2022, we must finally dispel the false dichotomy that there is a ‘zero-sum game’ of wildlife versus the economy; or protecting ecosystems versus the economy,“ said UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner. “Indeed, the world is waking up and recognising the true value of nature which holds many of the solutions we need to address the climate crisis and achieve the Global Goals.”
Ivonne Higuero, the Secretary-General of CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), said: “World Wildlife Day is a chance to celebrate the successes in animal and plant conservation but at the same time acknowledge the critical challenges we face in conserving earth’s biodiversity and the ecosystems on which we depend. These key species play a vital role in ensuring ecosystem health. This is why species conservation and actions to restore ecosystems must go hand-in-hand.”
World Wildlife Day has become the most prominent global annual event dedicated to wildlife. On Thursday 3 March, at 14:00 CET, the Secretariat of CITES, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Jackson Wild, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and other partner organizations will hold a live event on YouTube. The event will bring together people at the forefront of conservation. From a company who grows coral to restore dying reefs in the Caribbean to a vulture restaurant fighting for their conservation in Nepal. From fighting poaching in one of the world’s most war-torn areas to a First Nation Elder Chief from the Northwest Territories of Canada.
The event will feature statements from the UN General Assembly’s President, Mr. Abdulla Shahid; the Minister of Environment of Panama, Mr. Milciades Concepción; UNDP Administrator, Mr. Achim Steiner; and Ms. Amy Fraenkel, Executive Secretary, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
At the event, Jackson Wild will present the winners of this year’s World Wildlife Day Film Showcase – over 300 films from 34 have competed in five categories and the winners will be announced at the event. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) will be announcing the winner of the World Wildlife Day 2022 International Youth Art Contest from among over 1500 entries from children in 58 countries. The event will be closed by a musical piece performed by the UN Chamber Music Society.
Pre-Interview opportunities: To speak to any of the following speakers, in advance of March 3rd
Ivonne Higuero, Secretary-General, CITES
Ms. Adeline Jonasson, Elder Chief, Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation, Canada
Mr. John Kahekwa, Founder, Pole Pole Foundation (POPOF), DR Congo
Ms. Tarin Toledo Aceves, Researcher, The Institute of Ecology (INECOL), Mexico
Mr. Sam Teicher, Co-founder and Chief Reef Officer at Coral Vita Farm, The Bahamas
Mr. Dhanbhadur Chaudhary, Manager, Community-based Vulture Restaurant, Nepal
Ms. Lucy Coals, Project Support Officer, Project Seagrass, Thailand/Cambodia
Please contact: David Whitbourn, Communications at [email protected] or +41 79 477 0806
Further information is on www.wildlifeday.org.
The event will be live on YouTube at 14:00 CET, March 3rd 2022: https://www.youtube.com/user/WorldWildlifeDay/live.