The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) in collaboration with its traditional conservation partners is expected to execute a befitting program to commemorate World Wildlife Day today, March 3, 2020 in Monrovia. An array of government officials and foreign diplomats will also grace the occasion which official kick off at the ELWA Junction.
It can be recalled that at its 68th Session, the United Nations General Assembly declared 3 March of each year World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness on the world’s wild animals and plants.
“Sustaining all life on earth” is dubbed as this year’s global theme which encompasses all wild animal and plant species as key components of the world’s biodiversity. This aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 1,12,14 and 15 and their wide ranging components on alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources and on conserving life both on land and below water to halt biodiversity loss. In Liberia, we have adopted the national theme “Protecting wildlife is everybody’s business”. This is the first time that the World Wildlife Day has been celebrated in Liberia.
Accordingly, the FDA will collaborate with all relevant government agencies and ministries, local and international non-governmental organizations, bilateral and multilateral institutions, the media, etc. to raise awareness on the multitude of benefits of wildlife to people particularly to those communities who live in closest proximity to it including employment creation, revenue generation for rural and national economies, climate change mitigation, etc.
The day is also intends to highlight poaching and illicit trade in bush meat and live animals, indiscriminate clearance of habitats which continue to impact negatively on their population and the urgent need for all government agencies and ministries, local and international partners, the media, etc to join us in continuously combating the menace of wildlife crime across the country.
The FDA says despite challenges, substantial progress has been made since last year as evidenced by collaborative enforcements which have resulted to convictions, confiscations and seizures of smoked bush meat and live animals across the country. With the commitment of the Government of Liberia in protecting biodiversity, the collaboration of all government agencies, ministries, local and international partners is cardinal to our fight against wildlife crime.