Representatives of UN states and international bodies celebrated the UN World Wildlife Day 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva. The theme of this year’s UN World Wildlife Day is: Life below water: for people and planet. Three billion people world over depend on marine and coastal resources for livelihoods. The value of marine as well as coastal resources is put at US$3 trillion every year. This is 5 per cent the world GDP.

But life under water is facing several threats and challenges. Despite the critical importance. This is an area of great concern for CITES. Unsustainable exploitation for the sake of international trade. More than 30 per cent of the commercially exploited marine fish reserves are over-exploited. It was organised by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Secretariat of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The UN World Wildlife Day 2019 celebrations saw international organizations dealing with fishery like Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), government officials, conservationists, private sector, celebrities, and youth in attendance. UN Secretary General sent out a relevant message for UN World Wildlife Day 2019.

Aligning UN World Wildlife Day 2019 with SDGs

Expert panelists and speakers shared their experience as well as views with the audience on contribution of life below water towards sustainable development. They also talked about challenges facing conservation as well as sustainable usage. They also highlighted solutions as well to address the issues.

Falling on 3rd March, UN World Wildlife Day 2019 focused on marine species and biodiversity that is aligned with Sustainable Development. It was an opportunity to increase awareness about the diversity of marine life, along with the many benefits that it seeks to bring to everyday lives as well as livelihoods for people across the world. And that it continues to do this for future generations.

This is first UN World Wildlife Day which focuses on the life below water. All must strive towards achieving the SDG objectives of sustainability. Whether it is terrestrial or marine wildlife. So that it can survive in the wild. At the same time benefit people too. There is a need to ensure that international trade in marine species is sustainable, legal, as well as beneficial for people and planet. The event was addressed by CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero as well as UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. As much as 5–12 mn ton of plastic enters the oceans every year. This threatens the health of a wide range of species, ranging from the zooplankton to the whales.

About Radhika Joshi

Radhika Joshi is an ardent environmentalist and holds a master's degree in biotechnology from Amity University