According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, sea turtles are one of 5,652 endangered species in the ocean. (Credit: Wexor Tmg / Unsplash) (Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/L-2p8fapOA8 )
Imagine a world without the greenery of trees or the deep blue shade of seas, jungles without jaguars or oceans without otters; how empty and bleak this world seems. What is even more frightening is that this might be our future if we do not act now.
It is a fact that the state of the world we live in is in our hands. Everything we do will always have an impact, from the chic clothes we purchase to the fuel we use for our vehicles.
For almost a decade, World Wildlife Day has been celebrated annually on 3 March with the aim to raise awareness of the diverse ecosystem around the globe. Proposed by Thailand, the international day also commemorates the signing of the Conventional on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora signed in 1973.
The theme for World Wildlife Day 2022 is “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration”, highlighting the state of endangered wildlife as well as the power of conservation efforts to aid them internationally. As it is crucial to learn about the pertinent roles fauna and flora play in ecosystems, the theme will also raise examples of successful practices where species were brought back from the brink of extinction.
Marine life is perpetually threatened by illegal hunting and pollution (Credit: Koh Ianta / Pixabay) (Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/asia-thailand-koh-ianta-island-sea-3764652/ )
The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has listed over 8,400 critically endangered species of wild fauna and flora, and almost 30,000 other species as endangered or vulnerable. This means that several species are threatened with extinction in the near future if conservation efforts do not improve right now. The deteriorating state of ecosystems worldwide also affects humanity as a whole, as people from all around the world rely on wildlife to meet basic needs such as food, medicine, and clothing.
World Wildlife Day 2022 will seek to ignite conversations on the creation and implementation of solutions to conserve critically endangered species like the blue whale and the staghorn coral, further highlighting their conservation status.
Anyone can make a difference in the world to help our fauna and flora friends. Here are three ways you can further help to improve the state of our ecosystems.
Firstly, you can always start by talking about endangered species as well as conservation efforts. Not many people are aware what kind of species are vulnerable and how certain daily activities affect such species. An example would be consuming shark fin soup, which is a popular East Asian dish. The Human Society International condemns shark fin soup as approximately 72 million sharks are killed each year for their fins. This has caused much environmental damage, threatening the existence of sharks. If more people are aware about the dangers that come with buying shark fin soup, they can make a conscious decision to not consume it anymore. Being environmentally responsible goes a long way.
Volunteer Beng Choo participating in Project White Sands, an initiative by Ocean Purpose Project to raise awareness of ecosystems by making beach clean-ups a norm (Credit: Ocean Purpose Project)
#2: TAKE ACTION
Next, you can do your part by actively helping out in your neighbourhood or community. There are several environmental organisations that offer enriching volunteering experiences. Ocean Purpose Project welcomes all who are keen in joining their regular beach and coastal clean-ups in Singapore. Through volunteering for such projects, you are exposed to the marine trash and how it detrimentally affects the ecosystem. By partaking in such meaningful activities, not only do you learn more about your local environment – but you are also helping to significantly reduce the chances of biodiversity coming in contact with dangerous items.
#3: KICKSTART COMMUNITIES
Another way to get involved would be organising your own activities to commemorate World Wildlife Day. Grab some friends for a screening of an environmental-related film at your local cinema or even at home. You can arrange casual discussions with colleagues and schoolmates, and perhaps even learn something new from them while raising awareness of wildlife matters. If COVID-19 proves to be a hurdle to organise physical outings, fear not as you can always plan events virtually. Teleparty is an efficient platform to digitally stream films and series with others in real-time. You can watch Netflix and Hulu shows like My Octopus Teacher and Shark Week.
All in all, World Wildlife Day teaches us more about the environment we live in and how we can further help to aid our ecosystem. It is a strong reminder to all to continue making progress on conserving endangered species as well as to step up the fight against wildlife crime. It is always important to be environmentally conscious and responsible in the things that we do in our daily lives. Big or small, anything we do will always have an impact.