Today is the first official World Wildlife Day. Not only that though, it is also the anniversary of the founding of CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) back in 1973. It is a day to help raise awareness of the dangers faced by our world’s animals, plants and nature as a whole. It is a day for us humans to become more aware of our actions and how our actions impact the world around us. I also believe it is a day for us to realize that due to the fact that our lives are so closely intertwined with nature, we must take steps to become more sustainable so that we can lessen the harmful impact we have on the environment.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, “It is estimated that current trends of species extinctions are between 100 and 1,000 times higher than the naturally expected levels.” Animal poaching, the illegal ivory trade and other illicit activities are threatening already endangered animal and plant species around the world. Climate change, the burning of fossil fuels, fracking, logging, fires and other actions also impact the survival of the flora and fauna we know and love. While this is a very real and extremely serious situation, it is not one that necessarily hits home for most people. They may not see the damage first hand. They may not even be aware of the long-lasting impact that is being had on our planet as a result of certain actions. In many cases, people are not aware of or do not want to know about how their purchases and their lifestyles are directly tied to nature. Here are a few articles to help highlight the situation at hand:
- First-Ever World Wildlife Day Spotlights Far-Reaching Impact of US$19 Billion Illicit Trade in Flora and Fauna
- World Wildlife Day 2014: Celebrating The Flora And Fauna We Sometimes Forget About
- Poachers have killed about 10% of the remaining wolf population in the U.S.
- “Cyberpoaching” feared as new threat to rare wildlife
- Fracking Our National Parks: America’s Best Idea Threatened by Oil and Gas Addiction
Looking to do something about turning a bad situation into a good one? Want to make a difference? Start by reviewing and signing some of these endangered species petitions on Care2.com, becoming a member of the Rainforest Alliance or educating yourself on the importance of buying Fair Trade Certified products. So, what action or actions are you going to take to lessen your impact on the environment?