Today (Thursday 3 March 2022) marks World Wildlife Day. The day was chosen at the 20 December 2013 session of the UN General Assembly, following the signature of the CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) on 3 March 1973. The day was designated to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants
World Wildlife Day’s main message in 2022 is ‘recovering key species for ecosystem restoration'. This directly echoes the recommendations of the IPCC’s report released on Monday this week, which called for the world to do more to address both climate mitigation and adaptation, with adaptation efforts, in particular, falling short of the necessary actions needed to prepare us for a heated climate.
Citing data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), CITES said “over 8,400 species of wild fauna and flora are critically endangered, while close to 30,000 more are understood to be endangered or vulnerable. Based on these estimates, it is suggested that over a million species are threatened with extinction.”
In the IPCC report, titled Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, under its section on ‘Observed Impacts from Climate Change’, it says “human-induced climate change, including more frequent and intense extreme events, has caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people”.
The report goes on to discuss ‘Ecosystem-based Adaptation’ which it says could be used to reduce climate-related risks to people, however, it also says that every increment of increased global heating reduced its effectiveness in reducing risk.
Beyond the report, since the start of the pandemic, people across the world have taken the chance to re-connect with wildlife and nature at times when they have been unable to connect with friends and family, and as a direct source of personal wellbeing.
Looking forward into 2022 – the world will be looking to the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China, for leadership on the protection and enhancement of nature and wildlife.
Posted on 3rd March 2022
Written by Tom Pashby
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