For information only – not an official document

1 March 2022

The Secretary-General

Message on World Wildlife Day

3 March 2022

Each year, on World Wildlife Day, we celebrate the beauty and wonder of our planet’s wild plants and animals.  Why do we care about wildlife?  Beyond a moral duty to sustain the Earth, humanity depends on the essential products and services that nature provides, from food and fresh water to pollution control and carbon storage.  By damaging the natural world, we threaten our own well-being.

Today, all around the world, wildlife is in peril.  A quarter of species face the threat of extinction, in large part because we have destroyed nearly half of the ecosystems in which they live.  We must act now to reverse this trend.

This year’s World Wildlife Day highlights the importance of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).  Ecosystems are only healthy when their component species thrive.  If just one keystone species disappears, an entire ecosystem can start to decline and die.  This is why actions to protect individual species must go hand-in-hand with restoring entire ecosystems.

On this World Wildlife Day let us commit to preserving our invaluable and irreplaceable wildlife for the benefit and delight of current and future generations.

* *** *