Annually, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) observes ‘World Wildlife Day’ to raise awareness about global wildlife and plants.
World Wildlife Day was established in 2013 during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly to honor the day in which the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed. Celebrated on March 3, this year’s theme of World Wildlife Day was “partnerships for wildlife conservation– with the goal of honouring those who are making a difference in protecting the world’s flora and fauna.”
There is a need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has a wide-ranging impact on economic, environmental, and social conditions.
The governments, civil society, and individuals must add their voices and take action regarding threats that wild animals and plants face. Moreover, people need to contribute to conservation efforts by preventing urbanization, poaching, pollution, and habitat destruction.
Of late, human-wildlife conflict has escalated greatly. From 2006 till the end of 2022, the man-animal conflict claimed 242 lives and 2,940 people have been injured in such incidents.
The main reason behind the conflict is the interference of humans in the wildlife habitats, experts underline. This interaction has been there from time immemorial when the human population was much and the wild land was plenty.
As the human population grows, there has been pressure on wild habitats and spaces where these wild animals used to live. While the Kashmir valley is landlocked, change in land use classification has definitely led to the consequences in the past thirty to forty years.
Prior to human intervention, all wild lands used to be under forests that are known as grazing land, but, now, it has been taken up for agriculture or horticulture use. These horticulture landscapes have either been grown on the fringe of the forests or inside them, experts underline.
While food availability in urban or suburban areas has increased, some wild animals like leopards get shelter easily in the form of dense vegetation, and abandoned plots. With availability of proper shelter and food, the animals easily change areas.
While wild animals do not know about the boundary, those living in proximity of forests, have to take precautions.
In nutshell, there is a need to promote conservation encompassing survival of all and diversity of the ecosystem. There is also a need to create awareness, as also the action aimed at preventing people from causing disturbances to the wildlife.