Sustainability forefront for World Wildlife Day
Today is World Wildlife Day, with 2021 celebrating the theme “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”. The world is being encouraged to #DoOneThingToday to support forest communities and conserve forest wildlife.
Forests are not only home to 80% of terrestrial wildlife on earth, but some 350 million people live within or adjacent to forested areas around the world, relying on the various eco-system services provided by forests for their livelihood, from food and medicines to shelter and energy.
This year’s theme highlights the central role of forests, forest species and ecosystems services in sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally, and particularly of Indigenous and local communities with historic ties to forested and forest-adjacent areas. This aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 13 and 15, and their wide-ranging commitments to alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and on conserving life land.
Indigenous peoples and local communities are at the forefront of the symbiotic relationship between humans and forest, forest-dwelling wildlife species and the ecosystem services the provide. 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.
Forests, forests species and the livelihoods that depend on them currently find themselves at the crossroads of the multiple planetary crises we currently face, from climate change, to biodiversity loss and the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Find out how you can get involved here.