“On this World Wildlife Day, let us raise awareness about the extraordinary diversity of marine life and the crucial importance of marine species to sustainable development. That way, we can continue to provide these services for future generations.” — UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Animals and plants that live in the wild are invaluable and they also contribute in a significant way to the ecological, social, genetic, scientific, economic, recreational, educational and aesthetic areas of our environment and human life. The World Wildlife day, marked on 3rd March 2019, celebrated this beautiful wildlife and also raised awareness about human induced reduction and extinction of many types of flora and fauna around the world.
The theme of this year’s World Wildlife Day “Life Below Water: For people and the plant” aligns very closely with the goal of conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and the marine resources.
Oceans carry nearly 200,000 species that have been identified so far and the actual numbers of species that live in the deep blue may really mount to the millions. Over 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity as a livelihood and these marine resources have sustained us and our development for millennia.
Sadly, today, the vast majority of aquatic life is now under threat from overexploitation or unsustainable fishing as well as climate change, marine pollution and habitat destruction. Our recklessness has not only made many marine life forms go extinct but have also begun to affect our own lives as well.
According to Forbes, this World Wildlife Day, the United Nations focused on the problem of plastic affecting marine life. 57 countries and 60% of global coastlines have already pledged their support in order to reduce their usage of single use and non-recoverable plastics that will be carried out as part of the United Nations’ Clean Seas Program that was launched over two years ago.
So what can we do?
As people and as businesses we can all play our part to ensure that wildlife does not continue to go extinct. We often forget that if all the animals, insects, birds, marine life and plants were to die off one day, we too would have no way to survive. While we may have enhanced cognitive capacities than our flora and fauna who have a right to live just like us, we are completely dependent on our natural ecosystems as a species too.
We can start by reducing non-biodegradable substances in our homes and at work. Businesses can refuse to or reduce using harmful items that can cause negative impacts on nature, and people on the whole can reduce using them too. We can use and focus on identifying more eco-friendly methods of using our nature’s gifts to us so that we leave behind a world that is equally beautiful for our future generations.