Putting Marine Species On The Global Stage

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Putting marine species on the global stage
17th December 2018

By Sandra Pearce

Marine species will feature prominently in next year’s World Wildlife Day when they become the theme of the event for the first time ever.

The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have said the theme for the United Nations World Wildlife Day 2019 on March 3 will be Life below water: for people and planet.

David Morgan, officer-in-charge of the CITES Secretariat, said: “All whales and dolphins, all marine turtles, all seahorses, many coral species and more and more shark species have been put under the protection by CITES – the world’s wildlife trade regulator.

“For marine species, CITES is at the interface between sustainable use and international trade for fisheries, working to ensure that trade in marine species listed under the Convention is legal, sustainable and traceable.”

Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, UN assistant secretary general and director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme, said: “Oceans regulate our climate, produce half the oxygen we breathe, provide nourishment for three-plus billion people, and absorb 30% of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and fully 90% of the heat from climate change.

“To ensure that oceans and marine species are preserved and protected, nature-based solutions that bring together public, private and civil society partners need to be replicated and scaled up.”

World Wildlife Day 2019 will be marked by a series of events and media activities around the world including an international film showcase focusing on marine species, Living Oceans Film Showcase.

The Film Showcase will help raise global awareness of the importance of life below water to our everyday lives, explore the critical challenges facing marine ecosystems, and highlight inspiring solutions.