Our world's wildlife remains in crisis and facing many threats such as habitat loss, shortage of foods, climate change, over-exploitation, and unregulated development. But one of the greatest threats to many species today is poaching and the illegal trafficking of wildlife parts and products. Only all out efforts and awareness are required to ensure their continued existence.
Keeping this in view, for the first time Bangladesh celebrated the World Wild Life Day on 3 March 2014 in a befitting manner. The Forest Department under the Ministry of Environment and Forests organized a discussion to mark the day. A unique fair was also organized to raise awareness among the masses. IUCN Bangladesh Country Office was one of the organizers of the event.
Describing the multitude of benefits that wildlife provides to the people, Environment and Forest Minister Anwar Hossain Manju urged all to come forward for preserving the wildlife and protecting the eco-system. He was speaking at the discussion as a chief guest at the National Press Club. “Preservation of wildlife is a must for people's welfare as many of them are becoming extinct due to lack of awareness of the people," he added. It is to mention that the Ministry of Environment and Forest is the state member of IUCN in Bangladesh.
Among others, Environment and Forest Secretary M Shafiqur Rahman Patwari, IUCN country representative in Bangladesh Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmad and Channel i Prakiti and Jibon Foundation Chairman Mukit Mazumder Babu addressed the discussion with Chief Conservator of Forest M Yunus Ali in the chair.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 3 as World Wildlife Day, as an opportunity to celebrate all wildlife, both plants and animals, and to raise awareness of the benefit of ensuring their continued existence. The day also acknowledges the security impacts of the global conservation crisis as wildlife trafficking now has become one of the most transnational organized crime today.
IUCN’s Director General, Julia Marton-Lefèvre in a message urged all concerns to work together to protect our wildlife. “On this first-ever World Wildlife Day, IUCN stands together with CITES and the international community in calling the world’s attention to the urgent need to secure the survival of fauna and flora species in the wild”.
After the discussion, the minister formally opened the wildlife fair arranged at the press club premises and went round different stalls in the fair. Students from different schools and institutions and other wildlife lovers visited IUCN stall. The stall was decorated with different publications, posters and replicas of different species of wildlife.
Highlighting the importance of the day, Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmad, IUCN Bangladesh Country Representative said that Wildlife trafficking not only decimates endangered species, it also threatens security, undermines rule of law, fuels corruption and hinders sustainable economic development. He then mentioned about various projects IUCN is implementing in Bangladesh to conserve different species. He also spoke in different talk shows on electronic media to raise awareness and highlight the importance of the day.
Earlier, marking the day, a colorful rally with spontaneous participation of all ages led by secretary, Environment and Forest M Shafiqur Rahman Patqwari was brought out in the capital from 'Doel Chattar' that ended at the National Press Club after parading important thoroughfares.