A selection of UN TV programmes, webcasts and video clips on issues in the news

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

World Wildlife Day 2016, March 21

World Wildlife Day, March 3.
Всемирный день дикой природы, 3 марта.
世界野生动植物日, 3月3日.
Día Mundial de la Vida Silvestre, 3 de Marzo.
Journée mondiale de la Vie Sauvage, le 3 Mars.
يوم العالمي للحياة البرية، 3 مارس

Theme 2016 : The Future of wildlife is in our hands.
Тема 2016: Будущее дикой природы в наших руках.
主题2016 : 野生动植物的未来就在我们手中
Tema 2016: El futuro de la vida silvestre está en nuestras manos.
Thème 2016: L'avenir de la faune est dans nos mains.
 موضوع عام 2016: مستقبل الحياة البرية في أيدينا

Calls on Citizens, States, Businesses to Protect Plants, Animals from Exploitation, Trafficking. United Nations,

Global efforts to protect wildlife are gathering force. Last year, United Nations Member States adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, which include specific targets to end poaching. The General Assembly also unanimously agreed a resolution to limit illicit trafficking in wildlife. These powerfu...l expressions of political determination to end these highly destructive crimes are now being translated into actions on the ground through collective efforts by countries around the world.
However, to protect this essential natural heritage for this and future generations, much more needs to be done by key actors on all continents and across sectors. In particular, conservation efforts need to engage communities that live in close proximity with wildlife.
Time is running out to end the poaching crisis that threatens some of the world’s most iconic species. To combat poaching and trafficking of protected species it is essential to address both the demand and supply of illegal wildlife products through agreed goals and targets and international instruments, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
For too long, the world has been witness to heartbreaking images of the mass slaughter of elephants for their tusks. According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the killing of African elephants and trafficking in their ivory remain alarmingly high. Asian elephants are also subject to growing levels of poaching.
Many other species, such as cheetahs, pangolins, rhinos, sea turtles, sharks, tigers, whales and high-value timber, face a variety of different challenges, including from habitat change, overexploitation or illicit trafficking.
On this World Wildlife Day, I call on all citizens, businesses and Governments to play their part in protecting the world’s wild animals and plants. The actions taken by each of us will determine the fate of the world’s wildlife. The future of wildlife is in our hands.

Ban Ki-moon

3rd March is wildlife’s special day on the United Nations calendar.
On the occasion of World Wildlife Day last year UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called upon us to “get serious about wildlife crime.” And the global community heeded this call. In 2015 the UN General Assembly adopted a dedicated resolution on tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife and the Sustainable Development Goals, which include specific targets to stop this illicit trafficking.
The current wildlife crisis is not a natural phenomenon – unlike a drought, a flood or a cyclone.  It is the direct result of people’s actions. People are the cause of this serious threat to wildlife and people must be the solution, which also requires us to tackle human greed, ignorance and indifference.  
Wildlife loss threatens our own personal well being, the livelihoods of local communities and, in some cases, even national economies and security. And today we are seeing a global collective effort to end wildlife trafficking. Across every continent governments and citizens are tackling both demand and supply – making wildlife crime much riskier and far less profitable.
Although overall levels of poaching and smuggling remain far too high, we are seeing improvements in some countries and with some wildlife populations. We are beginning to turn the tide on wildlife trafficking – but much still remains to be done – and success, very often, comes down to the actions of committed individuals. That is why this year we are rallying around the theme “the future of wildlife is in our hands.”
The 3rd of March is an opportunity for all of us – no matter who we are or where we are – to commit to securing a sustainable future for wild animals and plants, as well as for ourselves. Our collective success will rely upon the individual actions taken by each one of us – by you and by me.
Join us in celebrating World Wildlife Day 2016!
John E. Scanlon, Secretary-General of CITES

Poaching and the illegal trade in wildlife have reached unprecedented levels. From 2010 to 2012 alone, over 100,000 elephants were poached in Africa. Some rhino populations face extinction. As few as 3,200 tigers exist in the wild today. The disappearance of individual species threatens biodiversity, and by extension, the life support systems on our planet. Our responsibility is to look after wildlife. World Wildlife Day is a call to become more informed and more involved in stopping this crime against nature, communities and future generations.
Achim Steiner, Executive Director

Wildlife and forest crime destroys diversity and hinders sustainable development on our planet. Billions of dollars in profit are made from this crime. In 2015, 1,175 rhinos were poached in South Africa, while Central Africa has now lost 64 per cent of its elephants in less than a decade.
The industrial scale of the killing, the heinous murder of park rangers, the seizures of shipments measured not in kilos, but tons, point to organized crime’s involvement in these acts of unconscionable greed.
If we are to conserve animal and plant species for successive generations, we must take on the criminals and end the impunity often associated with this crime.
To achieve this, an integrated approach is needed to reduce demand and interrupt supply through the seizure of shipments, assets and proceeds.  Help must also be offered to local communities to provide alternative livelihoods, build local enterprises and to empower communities to live in harmony with their surroundings.
Crimes against wildlife and forests must also be viewed as a serious crime to trigger the application of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and to enable greater international cooperation, joint operations and the sharing of information.
The future of wildlife is in our hands, but if we are to be successful against the criminals those hands must be joined in proud partnership and close cooperation.
I welcome the commitment and efforts of Member States, UN agencies, CITES and its partners on behalf of flora and fauna everywhere. We must all work together to translate commitments into meaningful impact on the ground.
On World Wildlife Day, I urge everyone to play their part in protecting our wildlife and forests and in defeating the criminals who threaten this noble goal.
Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Integral to the balance of nature, wildlife nurtures us with a sense of wonder and serves as a source of inspiration. Wildlife is also the basis of biodiversity. Biodiversity in the wild is just as important to our wellbeing as biodiversity in plants and animals used for human consumption. Wildlife is incremental to forestry, fishery and tourism livelihoods around the world. Quite simply, biodiversity keep ecosystems functional providing the ecosystem services that allow us to survive, get enough food to eat and make a living.
The conservation and sustainable use of wildlife is therefore a critical component of sustainable development, and should be part of a comprehensive approach to achieving poverty eradication, food security and sustainable livelihoods.
Yet despite the clear links between wildlife, sustainable development and human wellbeing, wildlife is under immediate threat. Some of the world’s most charismatic species, as well as lesser known and perhaps less charismatic but ecologically important plants and animals stand at the brink of extinction. Habitat loss, climate change, invasive species, pollution and poaching are among the biggest threats.
This year’s World Wildlife Day theme, “The future of wildlife is in our hands”, celebrates and pays particular focus on African and Asian elephants.   Poaching and trafficking of ivory is one of the most serious immediate threats to African elephants, with Asian elephants subject to growing levels of poaching. As important seed dispersers, the decline of elephants can trigger the extinction of certain plants which could cause declines in other species of wildlife that depend on them.  This poses critical consequences for vital ecological processes, which if left unaddressed could aggravate further socio-ecological pressures and impacts. Therefore attention on this Day should garner efforts in developing strategies to preserve these precious species subjected to illegal trade in the wake of growing known and unknown pressures.
It is no exaggeration to say that wildlife is crucial to the lives of a high proportion of the world's population.  For indigenous people and many local communities and some rural households, local wild animals serve as their source of meat protein and local trees provide their fuel. And both wild animals and plants provide components of traditional medicine used by people throughout the world. But while many people in the developed world may barely notice a reduced supply of a particular household item, people living in the developing world are often entirely dependent on the uninterrupted availability of local wildlife resources.
Every action has a ripple effect. For example, the illegal wildlife trade and the overexploitation of species not only harm species and ecosystems; they affect the livelihoods of indigenous people and local communities and negatively impacts tourist attractions, which in turn compromises efforts towards poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development.  The overexploitation of species also threatens the planet. Overfishing not only affects individual fishing communities and threatens certain fish species, but causes imbalances in the whole marine system. The careful and thoughtful use of wildlife species and their habitats is required to avoid not only extinctions, but serious disturbances to the complex web of life.
The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity as one of 13 members of the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management (CPW) has been raising awareness of various aspects of sustainable wildlife management leveraging tools and fostering international cooperation to enhance the livelihood of local communities and to promote the conservation of ecosystems by private and community holders. A progress report describing the work undertaken by the CPW since the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity will be made for the twentieth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, to be held in April 2016, in Montreal.
At COP 13 this December, Parties will have an opportunity to address sustainable wildlife management as a cross cutting strategic action for mainstreaming biodiversity into sectors including forestry, agriculture, fisheries and tourism.  We would all do well to reflect upon what we can do to safeguard wildlife for the next generation. By conserving and sustainably using species we not only protect the ecosystems and ecosystem services that underlie our economies and well-being, we help millions of people and help save the utterly irreplaceable planet we live on.
Convention on Biological Diversity Executive Secretary Dr. Braulio F. de Souza Dias

It is amazing to think that in an age of smartphones, high-speed trains and jetliners, there are still places on this planet where herds of elephants by the hundreds trudge across savannas, and where a silverback and his mountain gorilla family spend their days eating, playing and simply living in a verdant volcanic range. In today’s modern era, these ancient scenes are truly extraordinary. They are also fragile.
Africa’s elephants, rhinos, lions and other species live on a continent and in a world that is rapidly changing. Africa’s population is the fastest growing in the world and also the youngest. The continent is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies. As the infrastructure is laid to accommodate this change, so the threats to the continent’s wildlife and wild lands heighten. Shrinking and fragmenting habitats, increased human-wildlife conflict, poaching and wildlife trafficking—all of these threats challenge our ability to secure a future for wildlife, in Africa and around the world. It is a challenge I believe we are absolutely capable of overcoming, however.
It is false and frankly short-sighted to assume that in the quest for modernity, we must sacrifice our wildlife. It is possible to have smartphones and elephants, lions and railways, giraffes and high-performing schools. To realize that future, we need political commitments at the highest level to devote adequate resources toward conservation. We must integrate protection of wildlife into national and regional planning to maintain the intactness and integrity of ecosystems and secure our unique natural heritage. We should make responsible stewardship of wildlife and wild lands a meaningful criterion for measuring internal governance and ethical investing.
Yes, we can do this. On World Wildlife Day, it is worth remembering that just as we are endowed with a rich natural heritage, we are also endowed with the tools and the knowledge to protect it. We work toward the day when we can say the future of wildlife is in good hands.


The future of wildlife is in everybody’s hands, and at African Parks, we have more than 800 rangers who are fighting each and every day and putting their own lives on the frontline to protect Africa’s most threatened species – elephants, rhinos, lions, and gorillas. But it cannot be their fight alone; they are not just protecting their wildlife, they are protecting the world’s wildlife – yours and mine. These are species that inspire us, serve as ecosystem guardians, and their existence can support local economies. They define who we are more than we can possibly know, so it is in their survival where our own precarious future lies.

In a time that the world is in conflict with itself on so many issues and despite our differences and political pressures, we all have a chance to unite our cultures and put aside our differences to stand together for the wildlife that are in need of our help. The World Wildlife Day provides us this unique opportunity. This is the day that binds us together across the earth; our compassion and empathy for our wild animals and plants that have shared this planet with  us for so long. Let us make this our goal. Let us rejoice in their numbers and not only the money that we can make from their ivory, their horns, their trophies and commodities. Let us recognise that the elephants, rhinos, pangolins and lions enrich our lives and give us an identity that makes us proud to be African. Without these things, we are no longer unique. We no longer have something special to offer the world.
We, the people of this generation, are the only ones that can make our children proud of how we responded to the cries for help from our elephants and rhinos, whilst the pangolin and mighty roar of the lions fade into history. Let our children not judge us on how we let these slip through our fingers whilst we fought over oil and money.
What makes us unique? The sunsets of Africa? The beautiful landscapes? Our beaches? NO! Everyone has these things. What we have got, that no one else has got, is the roar of the wild lion, the road blocked by elephants, the clashing of rhino horns at a muddy waterhole, the cry of the hyena and song of the jackal. Were these sounds, smells and sights all just a display of their might, or for our entertainment? Or have we become deaf to their cries for our help?
For so long the lions and elephants and beasts that beat with the rhythm of the African heart, have given  us joy and supprt for living. Now the tables have turned and it is us that need to give back to them. Once we needed them for these things, now they need us!
Join us on World Wildlife Day, take our hands and stand with us to shout out against the poaching of our rhino and elephants and the destruction of our uniqueness. Do not let thepoachers and traffickers take these things away from us and our unborn children! We cannot stand divided on this. We must join our forces. We cannot do this alone and we need your hands!
We cannot win this with guns and bombs. We need the politicians and world leaders to step in and throw their mighty influence at this problem.
United we can win! The future of wildlife is in our hands!

Black Mambas: Champions of the Earth

Seriously friends, World Wildlife Day is coming up on March 3rd and we need to heed the call to action which is that the future of wildlife is in our hands. This is a message of both power and privilege. We know through our work at ISF that when we take on a cause we can use our voices and actions to make a difference. And that is the best form of power. But being the custodians of the awesome and diverse creature landscape that we are so blessed with around the world is pure privilege. Aren't we just better off for knowing  that somewhere out there in our beautiful world elephants, rhinos and all sorts of other weird and wonderful animals are living life as they have for thousands of years! And aren't we worse off for knowing that they are being slaughtered in record numbers due to a lethal combination of greed, ignorance, indifference, corruption and superficial trends? It's time to use our power to stop these selfish pursuits. We are better than this and we can stop it by raising our voices and getting everyone to listen. Join me in celebrating World Wildlife Day by telling the world that we won't let this happen on our watch.

I once heard that most people who care deeply about animals, the environment, and the planet had a transformative moment in nature when they were young. That´s how it was for me, and I truly believe such experiences shaped the person I am today in relation to my affinity with nature and spirituality. Nature inspires me, it´s where I recharge my energies. It has this power and also the ability to move us beyond selfish pursuits and to see the bigger picture. Nature is just incredible!
That´s why I believe that when we damage the planet we damage ourselves. We are nature and all life is connected. If you hurt one species you´re hurting them all, including us humans.
It saddens me that in the 21st century there are still many endangered wildlife species. Continued poaching, for example, is still threatening to wipe out populations of rhinos and elephants. I personally saw the sad situation of orphaned baby elephants in Kenya. Their mothers were killed by poachers. Nothing justifies killing an animal to use its parts only as material goods, decoration or even worse, to satisfy someone´s ego or pride.
If we want a better future, we also have to take care of the wildlife. That´s why I would like to invite everyone to take part in this campaign to end Illegal Trade in Wildlife.
Anyone can participate by simply spreading the word wherever you can—through casual conversation with friends and loved ones and, of course, in social media. It is also important not to buy illegal wildlife of any kind. This is ongoing work that requires us to be persistent and vigilant.
I believe we create our own reality through the choices we make, and we are the only ones capable of changing the reality we live in.

2016 theme is “The future of wildlife is in our hands”, with African and Asian elephants being the main focus of global campaigns.

The theme “The future of wildlife is in our hands” reinforces the inextricable link between wildlife, people and sustainable development. It is the responsibility of each generation to safeguard wildlife for the following generation. It also imparts the pressing need for national action to ensure the survival in the wild of both charismatic and lesser known species.

The secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in collaboration with other relevant United Nations organizations, facilitates the implementation of World Wildlife Day.
Join the conversation

You can always do one small thing to join the people around the world to celebrate this special Day on the UN calendar. Lend your social media voice, speak for the voiceless and help us amplify the message that the future of wildlife is #InOurHands. Take a photo with our social media shout out card and support the #WWD2016 Thunderclap. 

The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) have teamed up in organizing an International Elephant Film Festival to raise global awareness of the various challenges facing the African and Asian elephants, and to World Wildlife Day 2016.

International Elephants Festival - World Wildlife Day 2016

Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine A. Novelli hosts the event, "Voices for the Wild: Inspiration to Action, Celebrating the Contribution of Nature’s Storytellers," on the occasion of World Wildlife Day 2016 at the Department of State on March 2, 2016.

How can you we celebrate the World Wildlife Days?

Media advisory

- The global poaching vortex - The Brookings Institution

Wildlife trafficking and its associated activities affect national and international security in a myriad of ways: They can provide support to criminal groups, increase risks of health epidemics, and further degrade the already fragile ecological systems on which humans depend. Efforts to combat Wildlife trafficking, meanwhile, provide new opportunities for cooperation between the United States and China, among other countries.

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