World Wildlife Day marks 50th anniversary of endangered species treaty

Today (3rd March) is World Wildlife Day which also marks the 50th anniversary of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.  

The treaty, initially signed in 1973, has helped to protect thousands of species of plants and animals, but UN General Secretary António Guterres has warned more needs to be done to preserve wildlife. 

‘One million species teeter on the brink of extinction, due to habitat destruction, fossil fuel pollution and the worsening climate crisis,’ he said. ‘We must end this war on nature.’  

brown monkey on green grass during daytime

At COP15 in December, 188 governments stepped up their dedication to protecting wildlife, as they agreed to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. This treaty is committed to a tenfold reduction in the extinction rate of all species by 2050.  

Other targets under the framework include protecting at least 30% of land and sea by 2030 and to take legal action to ensure large companies report on how they impact biodiversity.  

This year’s theme for World Wildlife Day is ‘Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation’, highlighting the need for governments, civil society and the private sector to work together to protect species.  

‘We need much bolder actions now to cut emissions, accelerate renewables, and build climate resilience,’ added Guterres. ‘Throughout, we need to place the voices of local communities and indigenous people – our world’s most effective guardians of biodiversity – front and centre.’ 

Last year, a WWF report found that global wildlife populations have dropped by a huge 69% on average since 1970, showing the need to urgently preserve biodiversity.  

The organisation launched it #WorldWithoutNature campaign today, as a host of brands and sports teams removed animals and nature from their logos to show how empty the world would be without them.  

Brands who have got on board include language learning app Duolingo, Old Mout Cider, Gorilla Glue, Gymshark and a range of football teams, like the Wolverhampton Wolves.  

Felicity Glennie Holmes, Executive Director for Communications & Marketing, at WWF International said: ‘We want this year’s #WorldWithoutNature to make audiences think twice about the beauty and nature that we’ve long taken for granted, but which is quickly disappearing before our eyes. We need more people, more than ever to get behind our efforts to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030. That’s exactly why we’re asking some of the world’s best-loved brands and sports teams to show the world what nature loss could look like. We’re delighted to see so many brands get involved as part of this year’s #WorldWithoutNature digital activation.’  

Photo by Bob Brewer


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