For those of you who don't know, today is World Wildlife Day and it is a date of ever-growing importance for our generation to be involved in. There are still many endangered species including elephants, tigers and rhinos who are under threats of habitat loss and climate change along with the illegal trade concerned with poaching.
Poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking are not only serious crimes that are driven by demand and facilitated through corruption, but they are linked to organized crime in many countries. Not only does this trade pose a serious threat to endangered species and ecosystems, but it also disrupts local communities and contributes to a greater level of poverty. On a daily basis, particularly in Africa and Asia, greed and corruption drive these illegal trades and often, local people suffer in the process.
Last December when the UN General Assembly declared March 3rd to be World Wildlife Day, they described it as having the purpose of "celebrat[ing] 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".
The declaration of World Wildlife Day is a commitment to end this illegal wildlife trade, but they can't do it without our help. Individuals and organizations around the world need to step up on this day to help end this horrible practice. In particular, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is using this holiday to not only celebrate a "year of ZERO poaching of tigers, rhinos, and elephants in Nepal", but to also promote their campaign to Stop Wildlife Crime.