UN Chief Urges Wildlife Preservation
    2014-03-04 05:56:35     Xinhua       Web Editor: Luo Dan
Marking the first ever World Wildlife Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday called on the international community to protect biological diversity and halt environmental crimes.

In a message for the day, which falls on March 3, Ban highlighted the intrinsic values and contributions of wild animals and plants, particularly endangered and protected species. "For millennia, people and cultures have relied on nature's rich diversity of wild plants and animals for food, clothing, medicine and spiritual sustenance."

"Wildlife remains integral to our future through its essential role in science, technology and recreation, as well as its place in our continued heritage," Ban said, adding that some of the world's most charismatic animals are in immediate danger of extinction as a result of habitat loss and illicit trafficking.

Noting the environmental, economic and social consequences of wildlife crime are profound, he said that of particular concerns are the implications of illicit trafficking for peace and security in a number of countries as organized crime, insurgency and terrorism are often closely linked there.

"I urge all sectors of society to end illegal wildlife trafficking and commit to trading and using wild plants and animals sustainably and equitably," the UN chief said, calling for efforts to build a future where people and wildlife coexist in harmony.

"Let's go wild for wildlife," he stressed.

On Dec. 20, 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution designating March 3 for the World Day to coincide with the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international agreement between governments of 176 member states.

Administered by the UN Environment Program in Geneva, its aim is to ensure that global trade in nearly 35,000 species of plants and animals does not threaten their survival.

This year's World Wildlife Day falls within the UN Decade on Biodiversity, which started in 2011 with an aim to promote the implementation of a strategic plan on biodiversity and the overall vision of living in harmony with nature. 
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