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World Environment Day observed with theme Zero tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife

Jun 6, 2016 08:23 IST

5 June: World Environment Day

World Environment Day (WED) was observed globally on 5 June 2016 with theme Zero tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife. The day aims at inspiring more people to take action to prevent the growing strain on Earth’s natural systems from reaching the breaking point.

WorldEnvironmentDayThe host country for the WED 2016 is Angola. At present, Angola is seeking to restore its elephant’s herds, conserve Africa’s biodiversity-rich wildlife, and safeguard the environment as it continues to rebuild after more than a quarter-century of civil war.

The year’s slogan "Go Wild for Life" encourages everyone to spread the word about wildlife crime and the damage it does. It also asks people to challenge all to do what they can to prevent it.

What does theme highlights?

The 2016 theme highlights the fight against the illegal trade in wildlife, which erodes precious biodiversity and threatens the survival of elephants, rhinos and tigers, as well as many other species. It also undermines our economies, communities and security.

Illegal trade in wildlife products is eroding Earth’s biodiversity and driving whole species to the brink of extinction. Wildlife crime endangers iconic elephants, rhinos, tigers, gorillas and sea turtles.

As per an estimate, in 2011, a subspecies of Javan rhino went extinct in Vietnam, and the last western black rhinos vanished from Cameroon. Great apes have disappeared from Gambia, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo, and other countries could quickly follow.

Lesser-known victims include helmeted hornbills and pangolins, as well as wild orchids and timbers like Rosewood – flowers and timber that are also considered as wildlife.

WED 2016 celebrations in India

On this day to create awareness for environment, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off Tiger Express, a semi-luxury tourist train, from Safdarjung station New Delhi. The train was launched on the World Environment Day with an aim to spread awareness among people on tiger conservation.

Background

The day was established by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the day when Stockholm’s United Nations Conference on the Human Environment 1972 began. The first World Environment Day was hosted in 1973 and since then it is being held every year with a different theme in different cities.
The theme for 2015 World Environment Day celebrations was Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care. and the host country was Italy.

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