When the world celebrates World Wildlife Day on March 3, 2021, it reminds that the forests, species and livelihoods that the forests support are at the nexus of multiple planetary crises.
World Wildlife Day has the theme “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet” that highlights the prominent role of forests, forest species and ecosystem services in sustaining livelihoods of millions of people, particularly Indigenous and local communities.
The biodiversity loss is a key driver of species extinction and largely driven by habitat transformation set by human activity, according to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
Sixth great extinct
The demand on land increases with humanity growing larger and wealthier. Reports point out that humans have transformed about three quarters of the land on earth for urban development, food and resource extraction. Moreover, the pace of transformation of land is accelerating. The environmentalists and others have warned that the world is in the midst of a human-driven ‘sixth great extinction’.
The UN said that land restoration and conservation could help in restoring biodiversity loss, climate change, health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. The World Wildlife Day is a reminder that the humans have the power to shape any environment, the UNCCP said.
The UNCCD stated that a green recovery from Covid -19 pandemic would create economies that are more resilient. Moreover, it will spark strong and urgent action on climate change,” the agency said. IT urged the countries to pledge towards reducing the loss of nature and biodiversity.
As per records, about 200 to 350 million people live within or adjacent forested areas and they rely on these regions for their basic needs, including food, shelter, energy and medicines. The local communities and Indigenous people are at the forefront of the symbiotic relationship between humans and forest. Indigenous people manage about 28 per cent of the land surface, including some of the most ecologically intact forests.
The 68th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session on December 20, 2013, declared the World Wildlife Day as on March 3.