World Wildlife Day 3 March 2018
The United Nations World Wildlife Day is the global celebration of the many beautiful and varied forms of wild animals and plants on our planet as well as an occasion to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to both wildlife and people and the plight of many threatened or endangered species.
World Wildlife Day 2018, celebrated under the theme “Big cats: predators under threat.” They are facing many threats to their survival in the wild, be it loss of habitat and prey, poaching and smuggling, human-wildlife conflict or climate change”.
The official website http://www.wildlifeday.org’s suggested tweets to help raise awareness are pretty worrying.
“We’ve lost 95% of wild tigers since the beginning of 20th century, and lion populations have decreased by 40% in 3 generations.”
“3 of 9 tiger subspecies have become extinct due to human activities.”
“Cheetah populations have decreased so much that in Africa they are now only found in 10% of their historic range!”
I used the social media kit and tweeted on the day. I also took a picture with an ‘action card’ and posted that on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I agree that raising awareness is important, as is educating ourselves and the generations to come about the Big cats. But I felt that wasn’t enough to satisfy the #DoOneThingToday call to action.
Then I read “The challenges that wildlife are facing are often large and complex- it’s normal for individuals to feel powerless. However, every person’s small actions add up to a much larger solution – making the difference between a species surviving or disappearing forever.” I kept reading to find out what I could actively do to help Big cats. The suggested ways to help everyday with wildlife protection are:
Just #DoOneThingToday to make a difference and help wildlife conservation.
Set a Goal – Live your daily life with the smallest negative impact on the environment, wildlife and their habitats.
Mobilise – Encourage local schools, clubs, governments and businesses to discuss wildlife conservation and what you and your community can do to help.
Visit – Aquariums, botanical gardens, national parks and nature reserves. Research holiday destinations and countries that work hard to protect wildlife and habitats.
Consume Responsibly– By not purchasing products made from illegally sourced protected wildlife or their parts and products, you can stop wildlife trafficking from being a profitable enterprise. More information can be found through your national or local wildlife authorities or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species or Wild fauna and Flora (CITES).
Volunteer – we cannot always give money, but we can donate our time. Often wildlife organisations and zoos have volunteer programs. You could also help clean beaches, rescue wild animals or teach tourists about your local habitat.
Stay informed – Learn more about our planet’s flora and fauna, including those that are in danger of extinction. Research ways that you or your community can conserve and protect wildlife. Inform yourself on current environmental matters and be aware of your individual impact on ecosystems and wildlife. Think globally, act locally.
Speak up – share your knowledge, passion and questions about wildlife conservation with your friends, family and community – either in person or online.
Reach out– inform authorities if you have information on illegal logging, fishing and wildlife trafficking; whistle-blowers play a critical role in detecting wildlife crimes and holding criminal smugglers accountable.
I have felt powerless, as the website suggested, for a long time. I didn’t believe the actions of a single person could make a difference when what was needed was a change in Government Legislation and Big Business’ Attitudes. Surprisingly the connections I have made through social media have opened my eyes to the good that many individuals and small businesses are doing. Since starting my sustainable business last Autumn I have joined ethical and sustainable groups on Facebook. I am also following inspiring individuals on Instagram and Twitter who are always giving me ideas on how to live more responsibly. Because I am virtually surrounded by this support I now believe in the snowball effect. By our actions we can #DoOneThingToday to help make this world a better place for wildlife and people.
“Set a Goal – Live your daily life with the smallest negative impact on the environment, wildlife and their habitats.”
This suggestion from the WWD website may seem overwhelming but my advice is to KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid. Deal with what’s in front of you. Choose the best option available in the situation you’re in. We can’t save the planet single handed in one fell swoop but small positive actions accumulate, over time, like a snowball. Not only that but your actions can influence other people.
My #DoOneThingToday was to write this blog post. If, now that you’ve read it, you feel you can make a small change to help our world then the snowball is rolling.