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The United Nations have proclaimed March 3rd as “World Wildlife Day”

February 21, 2014

Rewilding Europe warmly supports this decision, which provides a perfect yearly opportunity to put the spotlight on the huge importance of wildlife and its protection. It also opens up for talking about rewilding as a real opportunity for man and nature.

On 20 December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly decided to proclaim March 3rd (the day of the adoption of the ”Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora” – CITES), as the World Wildlife Day. This to celebrate and raise awareness about the world’s wild fauna and flora. In its resolution, the General Assembly ”reaffirmed the intrinsic value of wildlife and its various contributions – including ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic – to sustainable development and human well-being on Earth. It also recognized the important role of CITES in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the species’ survival”.

Welcoming the news, CITES Secretary-General, Mr John E. Scanlon, said, “World Wildlife Day is an ideal opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people”. “We invite all member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system as well as all other interested organizations and individuals — from airports to museums to schools — to get involved in this global celebration of wildlife”, added Scanlon.

The CITES Secretariat has also created a dedicated World Wildlife Day Facebook page to share news and stories of the Day, which can be followed at: https://www.facebook.com/WorldWildlifeDay

The Wildlife Comeback in Europe study, which was initiated and commissioned by Rewilding Europe and released in September 2013, showed that several species had made a remarkable comeback to the old continent over the past 50 years. One the main and encouraging conclusions of this report is that the wildlife comeback that has been observed in Europe is mainly a result of legal protection and dedicated species conservation work.

“Also in Europe, we should use World Wildlife Day to promote our wildlife to support a further comeback of many species that play a key role in European ecosystems. Our continent has a fantastic biodiversity and a lot of iconic wildlife species that we should be proud of,” said Frans Schepers, Managing Director of Rewilding Europe.

You can download the Wildlife Comeback report as a pdf here.

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