Messages for World Wildlife Day 2017

Message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Poaching and illegal trafficking pose a significant threat to wildlife, especially some of the world’s most iconic and endangered species.  Strict enforcement of laws is important, but so too is awareness.  As consumers, we have the power to demand that all wildlife products come from sustainable sources.  I particularly appeal to young people to protect their inheritance by becoming informed and acting to protect wild animals and plants from the threat of extinction.


Message from Deputy UN Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed

Over the past four decades, half of all wild animals and plants have been lost because of habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, poaching and illicit trafficking. Around the world, young people are playing an increasingly important role as responsible consumers and future conservation leaders to reverse this trend. On this fourth World Wildlife Day, I encourage people everywhere to stand up for the world’s wildlife and work for a better world, where all can live in peace and prosperity on a healthy planet.


Message from UNESCO Director-General Ms Irina Bokova

The stakes are higher every day.

Crimes against wildlife have been increasing over the past years, fuelled by conflicts and the trafficking of wildlife and wildlife products. The impact is devastating on the populations of both iconic and lesser-known species. Despite a range of decisions and actions, UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and Natural World Heritage sites have not been safe from these crimes.  

This calls for a new commitment by everyone to prevent these crimes and promote justice. Young women and men have a special role to play here, as change-makers today and future custodians. We must listen to them and nurture their engagement, to craft new forms of action to conserve and protect wildlife on the basis of solidarity.

This is the meaning of the 2017 World Wildlife Day, under the theme of “Listen to Young Voices.” We must support young people in connecting the ‘local’ and the ‘global’ for more effective wildlife conservation. This has never been so important at a time when Governments are working all-out to take forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement, to build a world that is more resilient, inclusive and sustainable and to forge new ties of harmony between development and the planet.

For this, we need... See more

Message from CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon

World Wildlife Day is a very special day on the United Nations calendar. It raises awareness of wildlife conservation and it helps to galvanize national and international action. It is today the world’s most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife.

The theme for this year - ‘Listen to the Young Voices’, aims to inspire young people around the world to actively participate in wildlife conservation efforts.

Our generation has not yet succeeded in securing the future of many wild animals and plants. Meeting this challenge will now be shared with the next generation.

And to succeed we must fully harness the innovation and energy of youth, and combine it with the wisdom that comes with experience, if we are to make the change we need to see happen.

It is the obligation of the current generation to share their knowledge of wildlife conservation with the younger generations, whilst also empowering and encouraging them to actively engage and participate in creative ways.

Investment in our young people will ensure the... See more

Message from UNEP/CMS Executive Secretary Bradnee Chambers

The theme for World Wildlife Day 2017 is ‘Listen to the Young Voices.’ I think engaging with young people today is essential if we are to find solutions for environmental problems. Personally, I developed a passion for nature during my youth growing up in rural Ontario at a year-round outdoor education camp that provided experiences to children and families from the city. It inspired me to pursue a career in international law, bringing countries together to protect the environment.

At the United Nations, I work hard to protect migratory species. I want to ensure that future generations can still witness the world’s great migrations, from those of the animals that roam the plains of the African savannah and the swimways of marine turtles to the Monarch Butterfly and the characteristic v-shaped formation of birds in flight.

We need to think seriously about conserving species for generations to come. The Convention on Migratory Species will be convening its 12th Conference of the Parties in October 2017 in Manila, the Philippines. Related to this year's World Wildlife Day, the CMS COP theme is 'Their Future is Our Future: Sustainable Development for Wildlife and People’.

The Convention on Migratory Species is an inter... See more

Message from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

Wildlife is an important part of our lives. For many, it provides essential food and medicine. Ecosystem processes are driven by the combined activities of many species, and each organism has a role to play in providing us with economic, medicinal and scientific, recreational and ecological services, including cultural values.

But many species are threatened with extinction. Many more have declining populations. Habitat loss,  over-exploitation, poaching and illicit trafficking are the main threats. People are the architects of our current wildlife crisis, and people must be the solution.

The theme for this year’s World Wildlife Day, “Listen to the young voices”, is about working across generations and connecting with young people on wildlife conservation and protection. It is about involving youth, as members of communities, in actions that will ensure a sustainable future for wildlife.

But urbanization and increased time spent in front of computers and on smartphones are separating young people from nature. There is a risk that these trends will  undermine responsibility for wildlife conservation. At the same time, youth - with their enthusiasm and dedication to environmental issues - can often provide leadership on these issues. The future of... See more

Message from IFAW President and CEO Azzedine Downes

It has never been more important to ‘Listen to the Young Voices’ and to harness the energy and enthusiasm of youth to tackle the current wildlife extinction crisis – one of the reasons IFAW hosted the first ever Global Youth Forum for People and Wildlife in advance of CITES CoP17 in September 2016.

I had the privilege to interact with each of the 34 delegates and I have never met a more dedicated group of conservation leaders, who are bringing together expertise in diverse fields such as research, genetics, law and animal rescue. United by their willingness to collaborate, learn from each other and take action in their own communities – these young people truly will change the world for the better.

We’re proud of our partnership with CITES and welcome John Scanlon’s leadership in calling on youth around the globe to join us in the fight against wildlife crime.

Happy World Wildlife Day!

Message from the Jane Goodall Institute founder Jane Goodall

Hello, I am Jane Goodall and on this World Wildlife Day, I want to send you a message.

All around the globe Mother Nature is under siege as human and livestock populations grow, encroaching into wilderness areas, destroying wildlife habitats, and illegal hunting and trafficking. With our burning of fossil fuels, over use of chemicals in agriculture, industry and households we are polluting air, land and water. We are suffering the effects of climate change.

For 26 years, I have been working with young people in countries around the world, helping them to understand the problems we face and listening to their voices. Our Roots & Shoots program is now in almost 100 countries, with members from kindergarten through university.

The most important message of Roots & Shoots is that every single one of us makes a difference every day. And we can choose what sort of difference we want to make. Young people understand this. They know that millions of small ethical choices around the world are making a difference. They organize campaigns to save elephants and rhinos and sharks, raise money to help save wildlife, help to restore habitats by planting trees, share their knowledge, roll up their sleeves and get to work. This is why it is so important that we listen to their voices as they fight... See more

Message from Youth for Wildlife Conservation

We are delighted to announce that this year, World Wildlife Day will celebrate the growing impact of youth in conservation efforts worldwide. With people under the age of thirty representing over half of the world’s population, and the fate of some of the world’s most endangered and iconic species on the edge of existence, it is becoming all the more important to engage young people in decisions affecting the world’s wildlife.

From patrolling forests to protect rhinos in South Africa or combating wildlife trade in Vietnam, to rescuing orangutans in Borneo and animating wildlife workshops in Canada, the collective youth impact is widespread and undeniable. It is now time, on World Wildlife Day, to acknowledge and applaud the dedication and energy of young wildlife lovers across the globe working towards a common goal, to protecting our priceless wild animals and plants for generations to come.

Youth Voices were heard last year at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora(CITES) when the world’s governments adopted a resolution which acknowledges that youth deserve to have a greater voice on the world stage of international conservation.... See more

Message from One More Generation

Hey everyone, this is Olivia and Carter and we are the founders of our non-profit called One More Generation (OMG) which we created back in 2009 in an effort to help save endangered species and clean up our environment for at least One More Generation... and beyond.  We believe that education is the key to solving all the problems of the world.  If people were taught at an early age to care for all species on this planet and our environment, we would not have so many species on the brink of extinction.

Since starting OMG, it has been our goal to share information about the plight of many endangered species and about what we are doing to protect wildlife and the environment.  Our hopes are that by educating the masses, we will increase the number of people who care and together we will find solutions.  We ask everyone to please consider supporting  the United Nations World Wildlife Day and get involved in increasing awareness about the plight of wild animals and plants all around the world.

We have created lots of resources on our website and there are lots of our partners around... See more