3rd March is World Wildlife Day

Illustration for the 2020 World Wildlife Day campaign under the theme "Sustaining all life on Earth." Credit: World Wildlife Day/Patrick George.

3rd March is celebrated as World Wildlife Day by the United Nations to “celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora.” This day seeks to recognize the multitude species of flora and fauna that exist in the world, spread awareness about their benefits to humankind, and take active measures to conserve them.

Theme of 2020 World Wildlife Day

The theme of World Wildlife Day 2020 is “Sustaining all life on Earth.” It seeks to celebrate the important and unique place that wild plants and animals hold in the world’s ecology.

Earth has been home to uncountable species of plants and animals since times immemorial. These species have shared a symbiotic relationship with human beings to ensure that the world lives in harmony and there is an ecological equilibrium. However, indiscriminate human activity and the recklessness of humans has had a very detrimental impact on the flora and fauna of the world.

According to numerous studies, nearly a quarter of all species face the risk of becoming extinct in the coming years. Also, according to a World Wildlife Fund report, the global wildlife population has reduced by 52 per cent between 1970 and 2014.

Isn’t this horrifying?

We must do something before it gets too late.

History of the World Wildlife Day

On 3rd March 1973, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed. To commemorate this day, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3rd March as World Wildlife Day.

Why is wildlife important?

While the world wildlife has traditionally been used to refer to animals that are not domesticated, it has today come to encompass all organisms that grow or live in the wild.

Wildlife has been important to maintain the ecological balance in the world and must be conserved for a multitude of reasons.

The ecological balance of the Earth is dependent on the correlation between the various species of plants and animals in the world. The complex web of food chains contributes to a healthy ecosystem, and every species plays a crucial role in maintaining that balance.

For instance, plants play a pivotal role in ensuring that the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the earth are optimal. Now, a reduction in the amount of plants can disturb this equilibrium, having disastrous consequences.

Similarly, animals such as bees and bats play a critical role in pollinating plants. As a result, a reduction in the number of these species can have an impact on the amount of food that is being produced.

Numerous communities across the world depend on the wildlife as their primary source of food. A loss in wildlife will have a severe impact on the ability of these communities to survive due to food lo

A nation’s flora and fauna and their natural resources such as forests, water bodies, and mountains are the major factors that promote tourism. A loss in wildlife will adversely affect the tourism of a nation and thus its economy.

Many animals and plants have a correlation with the heritage and culture of a place. For instance, in India, some species of snakes are considered sacred and are worshipped by many.

These are only a few reasons that reinforce why humans must protect and conserve wildlife.

This World Wildlife Day, let’s ensure that we maintain a harmonious relationship with the wildlife around us.

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