Background on World Wildlife Day
On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of this special day for wildlife on the UN calendar. World Wildlife Day has now become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife.
2019 Edition & Celebration in Geneva
This is the first World Wildlife Day to focus on life below water. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the breathtaking diversity of marine life, the crucial importance of marine species to human development, and how we can make sure it will continue to provide these services for future generations. UNECE’s Team of Specialists on Sustainable Fisheries works to ensure the continued viability of the fishing industry.
A celebration highlighting the contributions of the international community in Geneva to ensure sustainable use of marine species took place at Palais des Nations on Friday 1 March 2019.
This event was co-organized by UNECE, CITES, UNCTAD, and UNEP, within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network.
Agenda (Moderator: Karen Gaynor, CITES Secretariat)
09:30-09:45 Opening remarks and introduction
H.E. Amb. A.L.A. Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva
Mathias Lörtscher, CITES Animals Committee Chair, Head CITES Management Authority, Switzerland
Mere Falemaka, Permanent Representative of the Pacific Islands Forum to WTO
09:45–11:30 Moderated dialogue on value of marine species and the importance of or ways to ensure sustainable use
Panel discussion 1: Coordination with UN organizations
Maria Ceccarelli, Chief, Trade Facilitation Section, UNECE
Tom De Meulenaer, Chief, Scientific Services, CITES Secretariat
David Jose Vivas Eugui, Legal Officer, UNCTAD
Aik Hoe Lim, Director, Trade and Environment, World Trade Organization
Panel discussion 2: Role of IGOs, NGOs and private sector
Javier Garat, President of Europêche
Paulus Tak, Senior Officer, Government Relations, the Pew Charitable Trusts
James Nikitine, Manaia productions / IUCN
11:30-12:30 Film screening
Screening of “Jago: A Life Underwater”, film from the finalists of World Wildlife Day 2019 Living Oceans Film Showcase
The event was streamed live on Facebook.