World Wildlife Day – What is it, and how can you help?
It’s Wednesday 3 March, which means two things: it’s Hump Day and it’s World Wildlife Day.
World Wildlife Day is an annual day to celebrate and raise awareness about the world’s wild animals and plants.
The idea of World Wildlife Day was turned into reality at the 68th United Nations General Assembly, which took place on 20 December 2013 (also known as five days before Christmas).
Since then, it’s become one of the most important global annual events completely dedicated to wildlife.
World Wildlife Day 2021 – what are we celebrating?
This year is an extra special year because World Wildlife day is celebrating Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and the Planet.
This a cause very close to MoreTrees’ heart because we work with projects across the world that do exactly that: sustain people and the plant.
This year’s theme highlights the central role of trees, forests, forest species and ecosystems in sustaining the livelihoods of millions (in fact, hundreds of millions) of people worldwide.
Forests, tree planting and UN Sustainable Development Goals
This year’s theme also aligns with goals 1, 12, 13 and 15 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals:
Goal 1: No poverty
Ending poverty in all forms, everywhere.
Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Goal 13: Climate action
Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts on life and the planet.
Goal 15: Life on land
Protecting, restoring and promoting:
- Sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems
- Sustainable forest management
- Combating desertification
- Halting and reversing land degradation
- Halting biodiversity loss
How vital are forests to the planet and its people?
There are between 200 and 350 million people living in or adjacent to forested areas.
These people rely on the forest’s ecosystems and its species to cover their basic needs (such as food, shelter, medicine and energy) and to support their livelihoods.
This is particularly true for indigenous peoples – who currently manage around 28% of the world’s land systems. Forests aren’t just important for their basic needs and livelihood – they’re culturally important too.
And, they’re under threat.
Forests, forest species and everyone who relies on them face threats from climate change, biodiversity loss, and the economic, social, and health impacts of COVID-19.
That’s why World Wildlife Day is so important and why promoting forest and forest wildlife management practices that foster long-term conservation is crucial.