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If there’s a time when celebrations and awareness come hand in hand, it’s today! We’ve come a long way since the creation of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Animals), 50 years ago! By now, this initiative alone has saved over 38,700 species of animals and plants, through partnerships all over the world, including United Nations agencies and worldwide organizations.
Due to the reality that we have millions of species facing extinction, the agreement achieved with this convention ensures that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants doesn’t interfere with their survival as a whole. This negative phenomenon of the decline of animal populations at unprecedented rates is something that ends up interfering with our own, threatening us all.
At this year's convention, the focus will be set on marine life and oceans, along with business and finance. In sum, the impact of marine conservation and the funding and joint effort of businesses to collaborate in the struggle to reverse the loss of biodiversity.
“Partnerships for Conservation are vital, as no organization, and that includes the UN, can tackle the biodiversity crisis on their own. (...) Partnerships bring together people or groups with different levels of experience and expertise, to come up with new ideas and the goal of having an impact.” - CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero
As we know, human behavior is mostly responsible for this crisis, but it’s not all related to illegal poaching. Some activities driving species toward the edge also include mining, farming, deforestation, overfishing, and overconsumption. All in all, according to a Harvard study by Prof E. O. Wilson (the "father of biodiversity"), it is estimated that 30 thousand species per year (3 per hour), are being driven to extinction.
Fortunately, CITES has dedicated five decades to building and reconciling differences between the groups, that have shown to be working effectively on the conservation of species, at a global or local level. When it comes to us, in order to honor those that made this possible, the least we can do is celebrate and share awareness! Despite the continuous illegal trade and the depletion of wildlife, it’s good to know that the fight against it is in good hands.
Happy Wildlife Day!
We’ll see you next week.