March 3 is celebrated as the World Wildlife Day commemorating the day of the signing of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) celebrated the day every year to raise awareness about global wildlife and plants.
The theme of World Wildlife Day 2021 — Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet — is set in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 1,12, 13 and 15.
The significance of this year’s theme is to highlight the role of forests, forest species and ecosystems services in sustaining the livelihood of millions of people at a global level and especially of the indigenous and local communities that have been associated with the forest for the longest of times.
On the occasion of World Wildlife Day, various ministers took to Twitter to raise awareness around various issues concerned with wildlife and its conservation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted honouring all those involved in the service of wildlife protection.
“On #WorldWildlifeDay, I salute all those working towards wildlife protection. Be it lions, tigers and leopards, India is seeing a steady rise in the population of various animals. We should do everything possible to ensure the protection of our forests and safe habitats for animals,” Modi said.
Tweeting the video of a Cheetah, which went extinct in 1952, the Union minister for environment, forests and climate change Prakash Javadekar said, “India has thriving wildlife & biodiversity. 70% of Global Tiger population.70 % of Asiatic Lions. 60% of Leopard population. The @narendramodi govt. is working on reintroduction of Cheetah, which went extinct in 1952. …this Big Cat will be a reality soon.”
Minister of state for youth affairs and sports Kiren Rijiju also appreciated the diversity of the forests and its inhabitants that are crucial for the survival of the planet.
“On #WorldWildlifeDay let’s realise that from the majestic lions to the humble worker bee, the huge variety of life on Earth is critical to our lives and well-being. India is seeing a steady rise in the population of various animals!,” his tweet read.
Union minister of petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan talked about the importance of indigenous communities residing in the forests and the importance to build a sustainable relationship with the diverse flora and fauna.
Several other leaders too tweeted on the occasion to raise awareness around issues and indigenous communities. As per the United Nations, roughly 28% of the world’s land surface is currently managed by indigenous peoples, including some of the most ecologically intact forests on the planet. These spaces are not only central to their economic and personal well-being, but also to their cultural identities.