Message from Achim Steiner, Administrator of UNDP

See Mr. Steiner's video message here.

We gather today on World Wildlife Day to celebrate wildlife and recognize our shared commitment for a planet where people and nature can thrive together.

At the moment, biodiversity is under tremendous threat due to a number of common pressures – habitat stress; overexploitation and unsustainable use of natural resources; air, land and water pollution; increasing numbers and impact of invasive alien species and climate change, amongst other factors.

One million animal and plant species are now at risk of extinction in the coming decades.

Billions of families and communities who depend on nature for food, water, and livelihoods are at risk.

Our economies also depend on nature – ecosystem services provide over 100 trillion dollars per year to the global economy -- this is more than one and a half times the size of global GDP.

If we’re to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement, we must reverse this trend now and put nature at the centre of development.

In 2020, this ‘super year for nature’ – we need to take the urgent action to halt the ongoing loss of species.

We need to scale up what is already working.

And we need to advance more innovative solutions and recalibrate the relationship between nature and society.

Look for instance at UNDP’s Lion’s Share initiative. It provides a unique opportunity for brands across all industries to join forces and help preserve and protect wildlife by asking brands to contribute 0.5 per cent of their media spend every time an animal is featured in their advertisements. We aim to raise over $100 million per year within the next five years for animal conservation, biodiversity protection and climate action.

The United Nations Development Programme will continue to work with all partners including governments, civil society, our sister UN agencies and the private sector to protect our earth’s wildlife and biodiversity in order to sustain all life on Earth.