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World Wildlife Day 2022


Recently, the United Nations has declared the theme for the year 2022 World Wildlife Day. Further, in times of pandemics, the threat of zoonotic diseases due to emerging climate change scenarios, wildlife protection has garnered renewed attention, the focus of the global community. 


GS II- Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. About World Wildlife Day
  2. About Legal wildlife trade
  3. Environmental crimes
  4. Wildlife crimes in India

About World Wildlife Day

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 20, 2013, at its 68th session, proclaimed March 3, as World Wildlife Day.
  • This day is significant, as on this occasion, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed on 3 March 1973.
  • World Wildlife Day has become one of the most important global annual events dedicated to wildlife.
  • Theme 2022 – Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration
Significance of World wildlife day
  • A symbiotic relationship exists between the forest, forest-dwelling wildlife species, ecosystem services and people, especially the indigenous people.
  • The indigenous forest dwellers, people at present, manage around 28%  of the forest land.
  • Biodiversity loss is an existential threat to human beings on the planet. 
  • The continued loss of wildlife species threatens to undermine entire ecosystems and puts into peril the well-being of all who rely on them. 
  • Yet, this is not inevitable: we have the power to change course and restore threatened species and their habitats. 
  • It can inspire collective action towards conservation, reversing the fate of key species of animals and plants.
  •  It can help chart a path towards a sustainable future, to live in harmony with nature. 
  • It acknowledges the need for collective political will and global leadership to adopt a robust post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and secure the common future.

About Legal wildlife trade

Globally, legal wildlife trade has increased more than five-fold in value in the last 14 years and was estimated to be worth US $107 billion in 2019. This is 5-12 times the value of illegal wildlife trade

Regulation and trends of wildlife trade

  • Since 1975, international trade in many wild species has been regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 336, a multilateral treaty with 183 signatory Parties (182 countries and the EU) that provides a mechanism to regulate the legal trade of about 36,000 species of animals and plants
  • A number of countries have additional measures to regulate trade in wildlife—particularly exports. National or regional level controls for trade in native and exotic species have been enacted for conservation purposes; to promote animal welfare; for public or agricultural health concerns; and to reduce the risk of invasive alien species
  • Wildlife consumption patterns vary markedly among countries, with North America, Europe and some parts of Asia being net importers and consumers, whereas countries in South America, Africa, Southeast Asia and Oceania tend to be net suppliers, or may have a large domestic trade, added to traditional consumption patterns

The story was first published in the State of India’s Environment 2022 report by the Centre for Science and Environment, a New Delhi-based non-profit.

Environmental crimes

  • There has been a 78 per cent increase in the number of environmental crimes in the country between 2019 and 2020.
  • At the same time, courts are disposing of cases at a rate much lower than that of new cases recorded, leading to pile-ups and delays

Total cases disposed of in a year divided by 365 days

** Cases pending at the end of the year divided by average number of cases disposed of every day

*** Cases pending at the end of the year divided by 365 days

Source: Crimes in India 2020, National Crimes Records Bureau released in 2021

Wildlife crimes in India

*As of December 15, 2021 |  Source: Wildlife Protection Society of India

*up to December 2020

Source: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Aug 9, 2021 

April 2024