The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all acutely aware that human health, animal health and planetary health are inextricably linked. UN agencies have now issued guidance for national governments to help reduce public health risks associated with the sale of live wild mammals. Among other measures, the guidance calls for the suspension of sales of live wild mammals in traditional food markets that do not have effective regulations and sanitary measures.
Together with 6 youth representatives, Dr Jane Goodall, DBE is patron of the 50th Anniversary of the UNESCO-MAB programme. UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme was created in 1971 with a vision: promote a sustainable connection between people and nature.
Following UNESCO’s Forum on Biodiversity on 24 March, the Organization has called for the mobilization of governments, citizens and civil society, including the private sector, in favour of biodiversity through the a multi-partner fund currently being set up. The aim of the mobilization is to counter the ongoing collapse affecting all living species. The United Nations is expected to invite Member States to implement a protection target of 30% of land and marine areas by 2030, at the COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be held next October in Kunming (China).
“Help bonobos and bonobos will help you” – is a saying in the Kokolopori community deep in the Congo Basin rainforest. It refers to the bonobo, a species of great apes. Bonobos share nearly 99 percent of their DNA with humans. Smart, emotional, creative, with homo sapiens-looking physical traits, the bonobo can be described as the closest relative to humankind. Yet they are endangered. The Kokolopori community, at Vie Sauvage, has a model for how to save this important species.
Women in Wakhan National Park supporting reforestation efforts. The forests close to the villages will decrease pressure on grazing areas in wildlife habitats. Globally, women are stepping to the fore against wildlife crime and corruption. Through positions they occupy in all walks of life – as influencers in their communities, frontline defenders and wildlife managers, government decision-makers, legislators, scientists, and business leaders - women are working to protect wildlife for the benefit of ecosystems, economies and people.
We celebrate World Wildlife Day in 2021 under the theme "Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet" as a way to highlight the central role of forests. Forest species and ecosystems contribute to sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally, and particularly of Indigenous and local communities with historic ties to forested and forest-adjacent areas. This aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and their wide-ranging commitments to alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and conserving life on land.
Turning the Tide
UNCTAD launched its updated BioTrade Principles and Criteria, for governments and companies to conduct biodiversity-friendly trade in an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable manner. The term “BioTrade” refers to the commercialization of goods and services derived from a country’s biodiversity. Curtailing illegal wildlife trade is imperative to stop biodiversity loss, with an estimated one million plant and animal species now at risk of extinction. The threat is not only ecosystem collapse but also a heightened risk of new pandemics such as COVID-19.
Primatologists around the world are closely monitoring the disease in the infected San Diego gorillas. UNESCO has alerted managers of its biosphere reserves and world heritage sites.
Kingdom of the Jaguar
Mountains’ unique topography, compressed climatic zones, and isolation have created the conditions for a wide spectrum of life forms. Mountains provide great biodiversity and many endemic varieties of ecosystems, species and genetic resources. Their topography in terms of altitude, slope and exposure offers opportunities to grow a variety of high-value crops, horticulture, livestock and forest species. This year, for International Mountain Day (11 December), FAO focuses in celebrating mountains as the home to half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and addresses the threats they face.
The ICC will help advance the initiative co-founded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to encourage greater private sector investment in biodiversity conservation.
Bridging the divide: Transforming the human-carnivore relationship to protect snow leopards
The mountain gorilla population was threatened with extinction by poaching, disease and deforestation. Conservation measures involving local communities have led to a significant increase in the numbers of this iconic species.
Combating the illegal wildlife trade