World Wildlife Day will be celebrated in 2022 under the theme "Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration", as a way to draw attention to the conservation status of some of the most critically endangered species of wild fauna and flora, and to drive discussions towards imagining and implementing solutions to conserve them.
This aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero hunger) 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns), 13 (Climate Action) 14 (Life Below Water) and 15 (Life on Land), and their wide-ranging commitments on alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and on conserving life land.
According to data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, over 8,400 species of wild fauna and flora are critically endangered, while close to 30,000 more are understood to be endangered or vulnerable. Based on these estimates, it is suggested that over a million species are threatened with extinction.
Continued loss of species, habitats, and ecosystems also threatens all life on Earth, including us. People everywhere rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to meet all our needs, from food to fuel, medicines, housing, and clothing. Millions of people also rely on nature as the source of their livelihoods and economic opportunities.
On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March – the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973 – as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of this special day for wildlife on the UN calendar. World Wildlife Day has now become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife.
In 2022, World Wildlife Day will therefore drive the debate towards the imperative need to reverse the fate of the most critically endangered species, to support the restoration of their habitats and ecosystems, and to promote their sustainable use by humanity.The incalculable value of wildlife
The animals and plants that live in the wild have an intrinsic value and contribute to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational, and aesthetic aspects of human well-being and to sustainable development.
World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that their conservation provides to people. At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime and human-induced reduction of species, which have wide-ranging economic, environmental, and social impacts. Given these various negative effects, Sustainable Development Goal 15 focuses on halting biodiversity loss.
Remember to use the hashtags #WorldWildlifeDay
"Let us remind ourselves of our duty to preserve and sustainably use the vast variety of life on the planet. Let us push for a more caring, thoughtful, and sustainable relationship with nature.
- António Guterres, Secretary General, United Nations