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Every year, people all over the world hold all kinds of events to celebrate World Wildlife Day. Their aim is to raise awareness of the beauty and the importance of our natural world and to look for ways to protect and conserve it.
How it first started
In December 2013, 40 years after it had signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the United Nations General Assembly decided to create a day to raise awareness of the world's wild animals and plants and the importance of protecting them. They decided to call it World Wildlife Day and chose 3 March as the date to celebrate it.
Why is it so important?
Earth is home to many, many different species of plants and animals, more than we can possibly count. It is this rich diversity, and the delicate balance between all the different forms of life, that makes life possible on our planet. We depend on all the elements of the biosphere for all our basic needs: the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the energy and materials we use to make the things we need to live our lives. Each and every species is equally important. One of the aims of World Wildlife Day is to raise awareness of these facts.
What are the problems facing wildlife today?
Sadly, many human activities such as mining, farming and construction are constantly putting wildlife in danger. We are cutting down too many trees, clearing too much ground and building so many roads that we are destroying the natural habitats of millions of species and putting the world's biodiversity at risk. Nearly a quarter of all species are at risk of becoming extinct in the next 50 years, and their disappearance is putting us, humans, in danger as well.
What are the solutions?
We need to live more sustainable lives and to learn to respect nature and defend its diversity. We need to push our governments to conserve and protect the natural habitats of all the species that are in danger of becoming extinct. We all need to work together to protect our planet – and ourselves.
What can you do to help on World Wildlife Day?
You can join local events and find out more about wildlife in your local area. You can donate time or money to organisations that are protecting wildlife locally or internationally. You can sign petitions and write to your government. You can share films, photos and articles with friends and your family. Post them on your social media channel and spread the message wherever you can. You can use the hashtags #WorldWildlifeDay and #DoOneThingToday to join in with the global conversation. Whatever you do, you won't be alone. Millions of people all around the world will be joining the celebrations and fighting for a better future for our planet.