Message from Taegan Yardley, student activitst

As a producer of short documentaires on the state of the most critically endangered species on the planet, I was thrilled to learn that the theme of World Wildlife Day 2020 is "Sustaining All Life on Earth". Biodiversity loss is as much of a threat to humanity as climate change.

Plants and animals are disappearing at 1000 time the natural rate due to human activities. Humans have wiped out 60 percent of all animal populations. We have destroyed more than two thirds of our original forests and we have decimated a third of all coral reefs.

There are over 7 billion of us on this planet and that number is expected to increase to 10 billion by 2060. Human overexploitation of nature, including wildlife and biodiversity, is causing imbalances in nature and it is leading to the depletion of our planet’s finite resources.

Education and communication are critically important if we hope to inspire others to embrace change. Amplifying the power of young voices, through documentary making, has provided me with opportunities to not only share my messages with people around the world, it has provided me with a platform from which to address the importance of youth involvement in finding solutions to the problems our planet and its creatures are facing today.

My generation understands the damage that has been done and we understand that each generation has brought us closer to the tipping point. We are proving that, not only are we capable of leading effective movements and making a difference, we are proving that age is not an obstacle to inspiring change.