What is World Wildlife Day?
On 20 December 2013 at the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), March 3 was declared United Nations World Wildlife Day (WWD). This day holds significance as the day that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed in 1973. The UNGA Resolution designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of this special day for wildlife on the UN calendar. UN World Wildlife Day has now become the global annual event dedicated to wildlife.
People everywhere rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to meet our needs - from food, to fuel, medicines, housing, and clothing. For us to enjoy the benefits and the beauty that nature brings us and our planet, people have been working together to make sure ecosystems are able to thrive and plant and animal species are able to exist for future generations. So, let’s celebrate wildlife and the important conservation work being done around the world!
“Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation”
For World Wildlife Day 2024, we are exploring digital innovation and highlighting how digital conservation technologies and services can drive wildlife conservation, sustainable and legal wildlife trade and human-wildlife coexistence, now and for future generations in an increasingly connected world.
We are in the midst of a global digital revolution that is breaking down barriers to people-centered digital governance and to equal opportunities for all to unleash the power of digital transformation. The ‘digital divide’ is slowly narrowing, with better connectivity and Internet access reaching 66 per cent of our global population. However, around 2.7 billion people of our global population are still not online. On average, only 36 per cent of the populations in the least developed countries and landlocked developing countries are online. Women and young people are more likely to experience gaps in Internet access and/or job-ready digital skills.
Technological innovation has made research, communication, tracking, DNA analysis and many other aspects of wildlife conservation easier, more efficient and accurate. Yet, uneven access to these new tools, environmental pollution and unsustainable applications of certain technologies remain critical issues for achieving universal digital inclusion by 2030.
World Wildlife Day 2024 is a platform for intergenerational exchange and youth empowerment through art, presentations and conversations on the opportunities ahead for our shared sustainable future in digital wildlife conservation. WWD2024 offers a jumping off point for exploring what digital innovations are available now, what intersectional discrepancies we are facing and how we want our digital connectivity to evolve for all people and planet.
This year, the CITES Secretariat has teamed up with the United Nations Development Programme, WILDLABS, Jackson Wild (host of the World Wildlife Day Showcase) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) (host of the World Wildlife Day Youth Art Contest).
While WWD2024 will be celebrated on 3 March 2024, the United Nations (high-level) event will take place on 4 March 2024 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, NY, United States of America and will be livestreamed on United Nations WebTV.
World Wildlife Day is for connecting people with the natural world and inspiring continued learning and action for animals and plants beyond the day.