More than one million species face the threat of extinction, a global biodiversity body said on Monday.
The Geneva-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the only international observer organisation in the UN General Assembly with expertise in the environment, particularly in biodiversity, nature conservation and sustainable natural resource use.
According to its Red List of Threatened Species, over 8,400 species of wild fauna and flora are critically endangered, while nearly 30,000 more are understood to be endangered or vulnerable.
“Based on these estimates, it is suggested that over a million species are threatened with extinction,” the environmental body said in a statement to raise awareness over endangered and critically endangered wildlife.
The union also said it wants to highlight conservation efforts’ power to reverse the fate of endangered species by highlighting UN World Wildlife Day 2022 on March 3.
“Biodiversity loss is an existential threat to people and planet,” said CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero.
“The continued loss of wildlife species threatens to undermine entire ecosystems and puts into peril the well-being of all who rely on them.”
Higuero said that loss is not inevitable, and humanity has the power to change course and restore threatened species and their habitats.
CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora which the IUCN administers.
The theme for the next UN World Wildlife Day is “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration.”
It aims to promote the best examples of where species were brought back from the brink, and it will drive discussions towards new solutions to conservation and sustainability.
“It is our hope that World Wildlife Day will help chart a path towards a sustainable future, with the goal of living in harmony with nature,” said Higuero.
“Ultimately, we hope to spur on the needed political will to adopt a robust post-2020 global biodiversity framework and secure our common future.”