Theme, Significance and Impact of Biodiversity Loss
World Wildlife Day 2020: The World Wildlife Day 2020 was observed on March 3, 2020 with the theme ‘Sustaining all life on Earth’, which includes all animal and plant species as well as the livelihoods of people, those living closest to nature.
The World Wildlife Day 2020 theme is aimed at ensuring sustainable use of resources and conservation of land and groundwater to stop biodiversity loss. This is in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals- 1, 12, 14 and 15.
The year 2020, also known as ‘biodiversity super year’, will witness several major global events aimed at conversing the biodiversity of the planet. This will enable transformative progress towards conservation and sustainable use of wild animal and plant species.
World Wildlife Day: Why is it celebrated?
World Wildlife Day is observed to celebrate the varied forms of wild fauna and flora on the planet and to raise awareness regarding the multiple benefits that their conservation provides to people. The day also aims to encourage people to step up their fight against poaching and other wildlife crimes, which results in many species getting extinct leading to wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.
The wild fauna and flora contribute immensely to the social, genetic, economic, ecological, educational, scientific, cultural, aesthetic and recreational aspects of human well beings and sustainable development.
Impact of biodiversity loss
Earth is home to many different species of flora and fauna. However, in the last few decades, humans have undertaken unsustainable human activities, which overexploit the wildlife species and the natural resources, putting the earth’s biodiversity at risk. Almost a quarter of all species are currently facing the threat of becoming extinct.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared March 3 as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness regarding the world’s wild animal and plant species. This declaration was made on December 20, 2013. The day-March 3 was chosen, as it is the day when the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was adopted in 1973.
The CITES is an international agreement, which was signed between governments to ensure that the international trade of wild flora and fauna does not threaten their existence. The CITES has 183 member states. The CITES Secretariat was designated as the facilitator for the implementation of World Wildlife Day.