World Nature and Wildlife Day , March 3, is a reason for celebration for lovers of the environment, but also a unique occasion to raise awareness about the importance of its preservation for the health of the planet and, of course, of our own survival.
This third edition is held under the slogan “The future of the life wild is in our hands” through campaigns for the protection of African elephants and Asian developed during 2016 and, on the other hand, also reinvindicando an inseparable link between wildlife , people and sustainable development.
- Protecting the elephants
- Human being and Nature, united
- Change of social model
Protecting the elephants
Indeed, taking advantage of the commemoration of this World Nature Day, the United Nations (UN) has decided to focus on the difficult situation experienced by African and Asian elephants.
They are being the main objective of the event this time, a logical decision, taking into account the escalation of poaching suffered by these pachyderms as well as other species, including the rhinoceros, the tiger or the giraffe.
The secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), -an international agreement between governments that fights so that international trade in wild fauna and flora does not threaten their survival- works together with different organisms of the UN to help protect them.
A great challenge, but as long as there are initiatives like this, the war is not lost. Although the reality is very stark. Presently, the poaching of elephants is putting them on the road to extinction.
Every year around 25,000 elephants are killed in Africa. Its ivory is sold at the price of gold, with a value of between 123 to 140 million euros, according to the study “The crisis of crimes against the environment” carried out by the UN, in collaboration with Interpol.
Its population continues to decline . According to a CITES report published today by the UN, during 2015 they received a tremendous blow. The conclusion reached is clear: despite the fact that illegal hunting has been reduced since its peak in 2011, the decline is constant and births do not compensate for the losses, which is not sustainable.
Thus, progress is of little use, regardless of what it means from an ethical perspective, but this is another story. Or rather the same, actually, for many the crux of the matter, actually.
Be that as it may, ivory is clearly still a highly coveted loot. So much so that saving the elephant or, for example, the aforementioned rhinoceros, is today a utopia for which we must fight. In the words of John E. Scanlon, CITES Secretary General:
The African elephant population continues to face an immediate threat to their survival due to unacceptable levels of poaching for their ivory.
On the one hand, the levels of poaching are still very high in central and western Africa, but it is a good sign that there are areas like the east where the rate has decreased, which shows us that this is possible through of effort and political support ”
The most critical situation was found in central and eastern Africa, where poaching is far higher than the birth rate of elephants. In particular, illegal hunters should be much more controlled in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, where the problem continues to worsen, always according to CITES.
Human being and Nature, united
In this edition of World Nature Day , the reinforcement of the “indissoluble link between wildlife, people and sustainable development” is also claimed.
The organization reminds us that it is our responsibility to take care of wildlife. The duty “of each generation to protect wildlife for the next generation.” At the same time, the “urgent need” to carry out policies at the national level to protect biodiversity is underlined.
In short, it is about “ensuring the survival in their habitat of both charismatic and lesser-known species,” says the UN. Or, what is the same, an appeal is made on elephants, but at the end of the day they are just an example of how much there is to do.
Obviously a single day does not mean anything and at the same time it means a lot. On the one hand, this day gives us the opportunity to notice the beauty that Nature gives us, but the situation does not allow us to entertain too much with that idyllic happiness.
The fascinating flora and fauna are in danger and, with them, we. Experts never tire of warning that we are on the brink of the sixth great extinction, a passport to an apocalyptic world with no return trip.
That is why admire and respect are key verbs. Not so much looking for a utilitarian purpose, since those are fine wickers to build something that is really worthwhile, but an approach based on the protection of life, in which we include ourselves as part of a whole.
Change of social model
Without a change in the social model on a large scale, which is more supportive, it is difficult to respond to the urgent need to combat crimes against nature. If it does not occur, the reaction will come late, or it will not arrive, and will bring dire consequences on an economic, environmental and social level.
The consequences of climate change are a good example of how united human activities and the environment are, both for the deterioration of the latter and for a boomerang effect to occur, the effects of which we are already suffering.
As inhabitants of this planet, a unique and wonderful place with no substitute, we can and must act to the best of our ability . It may seem that one person is not capable of much, but to give up is to accept defeat without a fight.
It cannot be denied that today’s world is dominated by large interest groups, that it is not sensitive to inequalities and human dramas, much less environmental ones, but it is no less true that only by being citizens with a critical spirit can we make a difference .
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