Thursday, 26 November 2020

UN in your language

Where have all the wild animals gone?

UN World Wildlife Day 2017 poster

Did you know that African savannah elephants have declined by 60% in Tanzania since 2009, or that chimpanzees are now extinct in Gambia, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo?

This year World Wildlife Day, 3 March, is celebrated with the theme “Listen to the Young Voices.”

Given that almost one quarter of the world’s population is aged between 10 and 24, vigorous efforts need to be made to encourage young people, as the future leaders and decision makers of the world, to act at both local and global levels to protect endangered wildlife.

"Listen Young Voices" theme of World Wildlife Day 2017

Driven by growing demand for wildlife and forest products, the illegal trade in wildlife has, in recent years, escalated into a global crisis, pushing several iconic species to the brink of extinction.

Much more than a conservation issue, wildlife crime is disrupting development by depriving countries of billions of dollars-worth of resources, cashed in by organized international cartels. According to a UN Environment-Interpol report, illegal trade in wildlife alone is worth $23 billion annually, 26% higher than previously estimated, and along with trafficking of drugs, arms and humans it is one of the largest illegal trades in the world.

Illegal trade in wildlife has devastating environmental and socio-economic impacts as well, leading to the degradation of ecosystems, creating major barriers to local communities for sustaining and managing their natural resources, leading to huge losses in revenue and income and threatening national security by undermining the rule of law.

However bleak these facts might be, prompt actions can make a positive impact on conservation issues around the world.

For example, in 2015, two of the largest ivory markets in the world, US and China, announced they would be closing their international and domestic trade in elephant ivory. And Nepal? It has been able to achieve zero rhino poaching in three out of the last five years, allowing the rhino population to grow by 21%.

Decisive action against illegal trade in wildlife will also benefit every aspect of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Young people have a decisive role to play.   

It’s time for us all to listen to the young voices.

To raise awareness of the illegal trade in wildlife, UN Environment in coordination with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), launched an unprecedented UN campaign called Wild for Life, to mobilize the public to make commitments and take action to end the illegal trade.

Additional links:


Social Media

Facebook R dark blue 150px  TwitterBird R dark blue 150px  Vimeo R dark blue 150px  Youtube R dark blue 150px  Instagram R dark blue 150px
>> All our channels

externallinks-icon120x120External link:


infoPoint32x32 Dblue Latest Products:

New Backgrounders:
          Refugees and Migrants
          Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs)

Library Newsletter - October 2019
(new websites, information material & publications)

UN Press & Media Contacts

externallinks-icon120x120External link (non-UN):


When the Security Council approaches the final stage of negotiation of a draft resolution the text is printed in blue... What's in Blue helps interested UN readers keep up with what might soon be "in blue".