It's World Environment Day!
What is World Environment Day?
"Celebrate the biggest day for positive environmental action!
World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations' principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the 'people's day' for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet."
This years theme is "Go Wild For Life!"
"WED aims to inspire more people than ever before to take action to prevent the growing strain on planet Earth's natural systems from reaching breaking point. The 2016 theme is the fight against the illegal trade in wildlife, which erodes precious biodiversity and threatens the survival of elephants, rhinos and tigers as well as many other species. It also undermines our economies, communities and security. This year's slogan "Go Wild for Life" encourages you to spread the word about wildlife crime and the damage it does, and to challenge all those around you to do what they can to prevent it."
"Zero tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife
Slaughtered elephants lying in the African Savannah with their tusks hacked off by poaching gangs; tiger skins with embalmed heads roaring silently from market stalls in Asia; the shells of giant sea turtles impounded by customs agents before they reach their Western buyers.
These images highlight how the booming illegal trade in wildlife products is eroding Earth's precious biodiversity, robbing us of our natural heritage and pushing whole species toward extinction. The killing and smuggling is also undermining economies, fueling organized crime, and feeding corruption and insecurity across the globe.
The trade endangers iconic elephants, rhinos, tigers, gorillas and sea turtles. Lesser-known species include helmeted hornbills, pangolins and wile orchids. Efforts to protect them have scored some successes. However, these and many other species remain at risk despite international campaigns to influence policy and considerable investments in conservation and law enforcement.
To turn this tide, more people need to understand the damage this illicit business is doing to our environment, economies, communities and security. We must also change our habits and behavior so that demand for wildlife products falls. More awareness increases the pressure on governments and international bodies to introduce and enforce tougher laws and combat those still willing to break them.
This year's theme for WED - Go Wild for Life - encourages you to celebrate all those species under threat and take action of your own to help safeguard them for future generations. This can be about animals or plants that are threatened withing your local area as well as at the national or global level - many local extinctions will eventually add up to a global extinction! Whoever you are, and wherever you live, show zero-tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife in word and deed, and make a difference."
Want to learn more about how to get involved?
Visit the UNEP website!