World Wildlife Day 2021 – Forests and Livelihood: Sustaining People and Planet

On March 3, 2021, we celebrate World Wildlife Day under the theme “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and the Planet.”

World Wildlife Day highlights the central role of forests, forest species, and ecosystems that sustain hundreds of millions of people worldwide, particularly that of Indigenous and local communities with historical ties to forested and forest-adjacent areas.

The Priceless Value of Wildlife

Forest loss, degradation and fragmentation accelerate climate breakdown and of biodiversity loss. This threatens the global food and water security and it imperils the safety and the livelihoods of millions of people

World Wildlife Day is an avenue to celebrate nature’s diversity and raise awareness of the host of benefits that conservation provides to people. The Day reminds us of the urgent need to fight against crimes against wildlife and the human-induced reduction of species, which have wide-ranging environmental, social, and economic impacts. 

Wild animals and plants have inherent value and contribute to all aspects of human well-being.

The natural world contributes aesthetic, recreational, educational, social, scientific, cultural, genetic, ecological, and economic contributions to modern society.

Balancing Conservation with Human Needs

Nearly all forests on the planet are inhabited, with indigenous and other groups having developed unique ways of life and knowledge of how to sustainably use and conserve forest species and ecosystems.

There are between 200 to 350 million people worldwide who depend on the forest and forest species for their livelihoods and basic needs, including food, shelter, energy, and medicines.

Approximately 28% of the Earth’s land surface is currently managed by indigenous peoples, including some of the most intact forests on the planet. These environments are not only central to their economic and personal well-being but also their cultural distinctiveness.

The ecosystems and the cultures that depend on these biomes find themselves at the crossroads of worldly crises, from climate change to biodiversity loss and the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To celebrate forest-based livelihoods, the 2021 World Wildlife Day promotes forest and forest wildlife management practices that accommodate human needs and the long-term conservation of forests. Traditional ways contribute to establishing a more sustainable relationship with these crucial natural systems.

As many as 350 million people live within or adjacent to forested areas around the world. They rely on the ecosystem services provided by forests and forest species to meet their essential needs.

How to Get Involved

Share your knowledge with your family and friends.

Spread the word with a focus on children and youth, who are the future leaders of conservation. The younger generation deserves a future where the human race lives in harmony with nature and the wildlife that shares the Earth with us. 

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