Updated: Apr 19, 2022
World Wildlife Day is here and if you have no-eye-deer how big of a deal it is to save our planet - you're not owl alone. Enough with the animal puns. Let's get ready to celebrate!
First, how about a little background on how this became a holiday? World Wildlife Day was established in 2013 by efforts of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and is facilitated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat. World Wildlife Day has now become the most important global annual event to celebrate and raise awareness of the world's wild animals and plants.
How are we going to show up for World Wildlife Day? Since this is a celebration, which basically means it's a party, and since every party has to have a theme, the theme for World Wildlife Day is Recovering Key Species for Ecosystem Restoration. Okay, that is quite the theme for some annual party. Let's break it down on what to bring to the occasion, how to celebrate, and how to dress for a successful World Wildlife Day.
1. What to Bring?
Lets break down the theme down into two parts: what are key species? and what is ecosystem restoration?
It is estimated that over ONE MILLION species are threatened with extinction. That is a lot of recovering and ecosystem restoration. You can bring awareness to the table by researching what types of endangered species exist in your region. For instance, in the United States, certain species of birds, wolves, and turtles are endangered. Knowing what key species are in your local ecosystems is a big part of how to celebrate World Wildlife Day.
An ecosystem is the blending of a physical environment and a community of plants, animals, and other organisms coming together to form the complex web of life. The human footprint and society's need for resources have greatly diminished many ecosystems. Some examples that are prominent in the United States include: over-farming land, excess use of fertilizer and pesticides, and soil erosion. Some simple ways to restore farm land are growing more diverse crops, using more natural fertilizers and pest controls, and reducing tillage (unep.org).
2. How to Celebrate?
Now that we know what key species and ecosystem restoration are, we can focus on the celebrating part. According to World Wildlife Day's website, "The celebrations will seek to draw attention to the conservation status of some of the most critically endangered species of wild fauna and flora, and to drive discussions towards imagining and implementing solutions to conserve them,"(wildlifeday.org). This sounds like a soiree to me, but how can you take meaningful action?
At Clean Planet Project, part of our mission is working together by picking up one piece of trash at a time for a better and cleaner planet. This simple act helps minimize harm to the environment, restoring the ecosystem so that it once again be a sustainable one. Other ways you can take meaningful action are:
- Cleanup ditches to prevent wildlife approaching highways
- Plant native species and use natural fertilizers and pest controls
- Stay on dedicated foot trails during hikes
- Prevent invasive species in lakes and rivers
- Volunteer at local restoration events
3. What should you wear?
We know what to bring to the party and how to celebrate, but now we need to talk about what to wear. The perfect accessory with any outfit is the Litter CleanUp App. This simple tool makes picking up trash simple and fun. Not only does the app complete any outfit, but so does a positive attitude and outlook knowing that you are capable of making small changes that can have a huge impact in the ecosystem you live in.
Though World Wildlife Day only comes around once a year, wildlife conservation and ecosystem restoration are issues that needs attention and action every day. At Clean Planet Project, we are making small changes, one piece of litter at a time. Through awareness, mindfulness, and taking small attainable changes and actions, we can begin to restore sustainable ecosystems and bring back key species to those environments. Let's make this World Wildlife Day 2022 celebration one to remember!
CITES. (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2022, from https://cites.org/eng
National Geographic Society. (2019, August 29). Keystone Species. National Geographic Society. Retrieved February 24, 2022, from https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/keystone-species/
Official Website of UN World Wildlife Day. (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2022, from https://wildlifeday.org/
Stone, M. K. (2012, July 25). Ecosystem Damage and How It Can be Restored. ecoliteracy.org. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://www.ecoliteracy.org/article/ecosystem-damage-and-how-it-can-be-restored
United Nations Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization. (2021, April 30). A Beginner's Guide to Ecosystem Restoration. UNEP. Retrieved February 24, 2022, from https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/beginners-guide-ecosystem-restoration