World Wildlife Day 2023: Theme, History and Significance

Every year, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) observes ‘World Wildlife Day’ to raise awareness about global wildlife and plants. It was declared in December 2013 during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The theme for World Wildlife Day 2023 is Partnership for Wildlife Conservation – with the goal of honoring those who are making a difference in protecting the world’s flora and fauna.

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On March 3, 1973, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was adopted, which plays an important role in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the survival of species. The Convention is a global agreement between governments to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of species.

CITES has 183 member states and is one of the most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation in the world, regulating trade in wild fauna and flora.

Earlier, the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP16) held in Bangkok in March 2013 resolved to designate March 3 as ‘World Wildlife Day’. The Kingdom of Thailand, host of CITES CoP16, sponsored this CITES resolution.

According to UN data, CITES currently provides varying degrees of protection to more than 37,000 animal and plant species.

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According to this convention, UN agencies, private sector organizations, philanthropies, and non-governmental organizations must continue to work for wildlife conservation, sustainable use and the fight against illegal trade and wildlife depletion.

According to UN data, about 50,000 wild species meet the needs of billions of people worldwide and one in 5 people worldwide depend on wild species for income and food. Also, 2.4 billion people depend on wood fuel for cooking. UN data shows that species such as cacti, seaweed, giraffes, parrots and oak trees are in the ‘endangered’ category and one million species are currently at risk.

The United Nations observes specific days, weeks, years and decades, each with its own theme or themes. The organization promotes international awareness and action on these issues by establishing special observances. Each International Day provides an opportunity for several actors to organize activities related to the theme of the day.

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