The future of wildlife is in our handsMar 3, 2016
3rd March marks World Wildlife Day.
World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate 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. At the same time, the day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.
Wildlife has an intrinsic value and contributes to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic aspects of sustainable development and human well-being.
In Iran, we are trying to protect the endangered Asiatic Cheetah that once roamed across a vast stretch of land, from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the Banks of the Ganges River. Today a small part of the Iranian plateau has become the last surviving habitat for this endangered species.
The Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP) is a long standing initiative between Iran’s Department of Environment, UNDP and a number of committed international partner.
The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Iran, Mr. Gary Lewis recently said: “As a result of the dedication of those involved with the CACP, today, we believe that the decline in the number of these beautiful animals may have stopped. Now their numbers may be on the increase once again.
He added: “The main reason for this recovery is that we – as humans – realized that there is a problem and as I have said many times before, knowing about the problem is the first step in solving it. We – the government, the national and international partners, the local communities and the Game Guards – are now united to overcome this challenge and reverse the destiny of the Asiatic Cheetah. I strongly believe that it is not too late to save the Asiatic Cheetah, whose only remaining natural habitat is here in Iran.”
2016 theme for World Wildlife Day: “The future of wildlife is in our hands”. It reinforces the inextricable link between wildlife, people and sustainable development.
It is the responsibility of each generation to safeguard wildlife for the following generation. It also imparts the pressing need for national action to ensure the survival in the wild of both charismatic and lesser known species.