The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Jackson Hole WILD teamed up again to organize an international film showcase, this time focusing on marine species. Winning films will help raise global awareness of the importance of life below water to our everyday lives, explore the critical challenges facing the marine ecosystem and highlight inspiring solutions in meeting them.
The Living Oceans Film Showcase will be one of the global events that will anchor this year’s UN World Wildlife Day celebrated around the theme Life Below Water: For People and Planet. Winners will be announced at UN Headquarters in New York at a high-level event on Friday, March 1 to observe the Day.
Covering two-thirds of the planet and making up more than 99% of earth’s livable habitat, our oceans remain the least understood ecosystems on Earth. In fact, we know more about the moon than we do about the deep sea. Nonetheless, life on our planet began in the ocean and we rely on a healthy ocean for our very survival. Life below water has sustained human civilization and development for millennia, from providing food and nourishment, material for handicraft and construction to the very air we breathe.
CITES Secretary-General, Ivonne Higuero, said: “CITES has a long history of regulating international trade in many marine species to help ensure their survival in the wild. In recent years, this includes several commercially harvested sharks and rays, such as hammerhead, porbeagle and thresher sharks, and the devil and manta rays. CITES works at the interface between sustainable use and international trade, and this also applies to marine species - we focus on species that have declined to a level that requires sound trade and management measures to maintain or rebuilt stocks.”
“While we still stand at a juncture in which crisis can still be averted, it is essential to take action that empowers local engagement and personal commitment,” explained Lisa Samford, Executive Director of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. “Our aim is to galvanize the power of media to inspire wonder, catalyze change and move the dial on the conservation of marine species and ecosystems.”
For more details and to host a screening, please visit the website of Jackson Hole Wildlife Festival.