'Go Wild For Life': World Environment Day 2016 Observed
June 6, Geneva: Marking World Environment Day, which this year focuses on the illegal trade of wildlife, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is calling on everyone to “go wild for life” and take action to help safeguard species under threat for future generations.
The UN official underlined that the effects of wildlife trade include the destruction of natural capital in which many nations could build healthy tourism industries; the spread of corruption and the undermining of the rule of law all around the world; and the “fattening of purses” of the international crime syndicates.
With the aim of reducing the demand for illegal wildlife products, the campaign stresses that that greed, fashion, ignorance, indifference, investment, corruption, pseudo medicinal use and cultural belief should not be allowed to endanger any species of animal or plant or tree.
It is giving special attention to eight species in particular: orangutans, sea turtles, pangolins, rosewoods, helmeted hornbills, tigers, elephants and rhinos.
In a message, Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Ofice on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said criminal networks and poachers have scant regard for biodiversity, or the terrible impact their actions have on our fragile environment and vulnerable communities. Every country suffers either as a source, transit or destination for these products. UNODC's World Wildlife Crime Report shows that 7,000 species were found in more than 164,000 seizures affecting 120 countries.
As such, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged governments and citizens everywhere to help end the practice, noting that there is “great cause for alarm,” as elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory, rhinos for their horns, and pangolins for their scales.
“The United Nations and its many partners have resolved to tackle this illicit trade, including by setting clear targets to put an end to poaching in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted last year by all 193 Member States,” he recalled.
Meanwhile, UNEP is underlining five quick steps that citizens can take action, including through arts and crafts exhibitions, film festivals, flash mobs and social media activities.
The Oslo Times