UNEP Executive Director
On World Wildlife Day we mark 50 years of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or CITES. 50 years of regulating international trade in endangered species. 50 years of conserving some of the planet’s most iconic treasures. And 50 years of demonstrating that international cooperation between and amongst countries can work.
But we all know that we have a long way to travel. An estimated one million of the nearly eight million species on our planet face extinction due to what we do, our human activity. As we step up action to tackle the biodiversity crisis, partnerships for wildlife conservation – indeed the theme of World Wildlife Day - will be critical. Here, The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework provides an important basis on which to build these partnerships. So as we need to strengthen partnerships with indigenous peoples and local communities so that they are not just participating, but are leading, deciding and showing the way forward. Because lets face it indigenous people know more about conservation than many a scientist does.
UNEP is proud of our work with the collaborative partnership for sustainable wildlife management - together with the Secretariat of CITES, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Migratory Species and other international organizations – that work on these issues, so that together we can promote the sustainable, legal, and safe use of biodiversity. This World Wildlife Day let’s commit to forging a closer partnership with nature. Because our future, and that of all species on this beautiful Earth, depends on it.