3rd March is observed across the day as World Wildlife Day. It is celebrated to raise awareness about the multitude of flora and fauna that exist around us and the numerous benefits that they provide to us. It also reinforces that we as humans should do all we can to protect and conserve them.
The oceans and its wildlife have enriched humankind for millions of years culturally, recreationally, and spiritually. Life below water has sustained humankind for years, with 50% of the oxygen that we breathe produced in the oceans. The oceans also absorb 90% of the heat from climate change and absorb 30% of the carbon dioxide released. Further, they contain over 200,000 identified species though the number of unidentified species can run into millions.
Unfortunately, due to indiscriminate and reckless human activity, these species have been adversely impacted and many are under massive threat of becoming extinct. Factors such as pollution, climate change, receding coastlines, and unregulated fisheries have created havoc on marine life. Shockingly, over 40% of the ocean is today under threat and has been impacted negatively.
Bearing this in mind, the World Wildlife Day 2019 will focus on life below water. The theme for the World Wildlife Day 2019 is ‘Life Below Water: for people and planet.’ It is a great opportunity for humans to understand the importance of marine wildlife, to celebrate the diversity and species underwater, and to conserve it effectively.
This World Wildlife Day, let’s pledge to not exploit our oceans and marine wildlife. Rather, let’s nurture them and conserve them for a better future ahead! Happy World Wildlife Day, everyone!