Celebrating CITES on World Wildlife Day

The secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in collaboration with other relevant United Nations organisations, facilitates the implementation of World Wildlife Day every year on 3 March.

As one of the member states, South Africa reminds its citizens that CITES remains one of the world's most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation, through the regulation of trade in wild fauna and flora.

This year’s theme is ‘The future of wildlife is in our hands’ and the Chemical and Allied Industries' Association (CAIA) urges all its members to be mindful of the responsibility carried by us all to preserve the biodiversity of South Africa, which has the third-highest level of biodiversity in the world the only country to contain an entire floral kingdom.

World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.

Wildlife has an intrinsic value and contributes to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic aspects of sustainable development and human well-being. For these reasons, all member states, the United Nations system and other international organisations, as well as civil society, non-governmental organisations and individuals, are invited to observe and to get involved in this global celebration of wildlife. Local communities can play a positive role in helping to curb illegal wildlife trade.

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