Written by Carolina Covelli, volunteer at Callisto Wildlife & Nature Conservation Society
Let there be color, let there be green, let there be smiles that last much longer.
From the air that fills our lungs, to the water that hydrates every cell in our body, wildlife plays a crucial role in the way we live. It provides balance and stability to all-natural processes and ensures our permanence in this blue planet that we call home.
Let there be praise for nature, let there be love for the wild
Let trees stand tall, let there be vision.
Wildlife conservation is the practice of protecting plants and animals and their habitats by finding and disseminating sustainable ways for humankind to coexist with other species.
The 3rd of March has been considered World Wildlife Day since 2013, in commemoration of the signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. This day has now become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife.
Let there be flight, let there be wind under the wings.
Let there be forests for generations to come, let existence be beautiful.
After a year marked by a global pandemic, the importance of maintaining a healthy balance in our ecosystems is more evident than ever.
According to UNESCO “The pandemic drove home the fact that our collective relationship with nature was diseased. Poaching and deforestation bring together species that do not naturally meet and expose humans to pathogens of zoonotic origins, which constitute 70% of emerging diseases”.
However, there is an unforeseen positive consequence of this crisis. Humanity is now aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy biodiversity. That´s why this 2021 all the efforts will be especially devoted to the central role of forests, forest species, and ecosystem services that provide livelihoods for millions of people around the world.
Let’s change a little, let’s conserve a little.
What has been done in Wildlife conservation?
As part of a coordinated effort to secure the protection of key ecosystems and wildlife endangered species, Europe has created the biggest network of protected areas in the world, called Natura 2000.
This complex network aims to ensure a sustainable future for Europe’s biodiversity, but the challenge has and still is gigantic since it is a system that considers both ecological and economic factors, along with all the challenges of coexistence between wildlife and humankind, instead of establishing strict nature reserves that exclude all human-related activities.
Greece is one of the richest countries in the European Nations in terms of biodiversity. From its high mountains to the Mediterranean waters its variable climate offers a great habitat for diverse species of flora and fauna.
At the moment 27,2% of the greek land territory and 6,2% of its marine area, are part of the Natura 2000. But Greek biodiversity is now facing a great danger because of a new bill that is being discussed in the parliament and that will withdraw the protection of Natura 2000 sites.
If approved, the Ministry of Development and Investment will defeat the main purpose of the protected áreas by allowing the development of investment projects inside these highly valuable lands, without considering the ecological impact they could cause.
This is why on this International day of Wildlife, I would like to invite you to take part in the joint position that WWF Grece is boosting, along with Callisto Wildlife & Nature Conservation Society and other environmental NGOs, to save the protected areas of this astounding and wild country. Just a signature is needed to let the Greek Ministery of Environment know that this measure is not supported by the citizens.
Protecting wildlife, taking care of our natural resources, and ensuring a healthy balance on the ecosystems is a shared responsibility for all humankind. No matter the color of our skin, the language we speak, or the gods that we devoted ours prays to, nature is as much a part of us as the blood that runs through our veins, so “Let’s change a little, let’s conserve a little”.
The wild agenda for this day
In a pre-pandemic world, this day was usually celebrated with a high-level event at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. But, as with everything else this year, now the celebration will be completely virtual. The online event brings together representatives of UN member states, UN system organizations and multilateral environmental agreements, civil society, and the private sector, to discuss the topic “Forest and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”
Here you can find the agenda for participating in the online event.