World Animal Day has arrived and with it an opportunity for children to take care of the environment and the animals that live in it. While this generation of children is more aware of climate change, environmentalism, pollution, and the impact of poor environmental choices over the decades, they may not know what they can do to change it. But when parents equip their children with the knowledge and tools to empower them to make a difference, children can make a difference. And if children learn this from an early age, they will care about the environment and wildlife for a lifetime.
The environment is a key issue that will perhaps affect this generation of children more than any previous generation. Therefore, children not only need to learn what to do to preserve the current environment, but also learn how to improve what they have. When this happens, children make conservation a priority, seeing that without change many species of flora and fauna will be lost forever and the implications of this not only now but for the future. So the earlier children learn about the environment, the more influence they can have over the course of their lives.
For this reason, World Wildlife Day offers children the opportunity to take care of their environment.
What is World Animal Day?
In 1973, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was established. It came into force after 183 international parties signed an agreement NOAA fishingstating that international trade in animals would not endanger their ability to thrive in the wild.
To raise awareness of the need to help wild animals survive by ensuring their environment is protected, the United Nations General Assembly produced a resolution designating March 3rd as UN World Wildlife Day . And as a result of this resolution acc CITES Secretariat, World Animal Day is now “the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife”.
World Wildlife Day has a theme every year. Over the years, themes have ranged from “Listen to the Young Voices” to “Save All Life on Earth” and “It’s Time to Get Serious About Wildlife Crime” and more.
For 2022, the World Animal Day theme is “Restoring Key Species for Ecosystem Restoration”.
A theme that is very appropriate given the destruction of ecosystems that have suffered from natural disasters such as fire, drought, floods, deforestation and pollution in recent years.
How children can get involved in World Wildlife Day
Children often feel that there is nothing they can do to affect the environment or the wildlife within it. Eventually they feel small or like their voices aren’t big enough to be heard.
But by arming themselves with knowledge and making changes in their lives, there will be a trickle down effect on those in their lives who are also making a change. And with the snowball effect that will lead to this, there are big changes that can all happen because of children.
Some ways children can get involved in World Animal Day are:
- Do activities related to the topic
- Knowing which animals are threatened locally to help those around them
- Use social media to draw attention to the day
- Visit animals in zoos, aquariums, farms and more
Corresponding CITES Secretariat, kids can even talk to their teachers about activities themed around World Wildlife Day. In this way, the message of the need to save animals and the ecosystems in which they live reaches many.
Why children want to get involved
Children will want to get involved and be part of World Wildlife Day because their future will be affected if real changes are not made to save wildlife species from extinction in the near future.
According to that United Nations, over 8,400 species of flora and fauna are classified as “Critically Endangered” while almost 30,000 species are classified as “Vulnerable or Vulnerable”. As a result of these numbers, over a million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction unless changes are made, according to the publication.
By getting involved locally, spreading the word on social media, volunteering and more, children show they care about the fate of their planet. Just because those who came before them didn’t treat it with respect doesn’t mean children are destined to follow the same path. Instead, they can turn things around as a result of their efforts. And when this happens, plants, animals and their ecosystems will be saved. This, in turn, helps make the planet cleaner and healthier for children too as they age.
The importance of children’s participation in World Animal Day
While children are aware of the threat to the environment, it is said The National Wildlife Federation, far fewer kids spend time outside to actually see the impact bad decisions have had over the past few decades. Therefore, children’s participation in World Conservation Day can ignite a love for nature. And more importantly, to see why nature needs to be protected.
Many adults living now will not experience the impact positive changes will have on animal ecosystems. But by getting kids involved, they can work now to see those positive changes in their lives. You can save animals and plants that are in danger of extinction and that, if left to perish, could transform the planet’s ecosystem as a whole.
Involving children in the fight for the planet is imperative. The struggle began decades ago when it was clear that plants and animals were suffering. Now it’s up to the younger generations to continue this fight to keep life on earth as long as possible.
Source: NOAA Fisheries, CITES Secretariat, CITES Secretariat, United Nations, The National Wildlife Federation