Since 2013, the 3 March has been recognised as UN World Wildlife Day – a day in which the world’s wild animals and plants are celebrated with the aim of raising awareness of their existence, the benefits of conservation efforts and, quite often, the risks these animals are facing.
This year’s theme was “Life below water: for people and planet”, shining a spotlight on the creatures living beneath the waves for the first time in the day’s history. According to the World Wildlife Day official website, almost 200,000 species have so far been identified but there could be millions more out there just waiting to be found. Over three billion people also depend on these waters but sadly, the ocean is under great threat.
It’s estimated that as much as 40% of our world’s oceans are heavily affected by over exploitation of its marine species, wildlife crime, pollution, climate change and loss of coastal habitats.
You may be reading this and thinking “well, what good could I do? I can’t get out in to the ocean to help!” The good news is, you don’t have to. There are plenty of things you can do to help and you don’t even need to leave dry land. National Geographic has put together a helpful list but here’s a few things to get you started:
- Reduce your carbon footprint by swapping lifts and escalators for stairs; walk or cycle instead of using the car for short journeys; and put layers on indoors instead of turning up the heating.
- Use less plastic by carrying a refillable water bottle, taking reusable bags when you go shopping and storing food in non-disposable containers.
- Support the businesses that help protect the oceans either by making financial donations or volunteering your time.