Buchanan City Hosts World Wildlife Day Celebration -Conservation Partners renew pledge to work collaboratively with FDA

The City of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County  on March 3, 2022 hosted a splendid celebration marking this year’s World wildlife  Day with national and international conservation partners attending the occasion renewing their pledge to ensure that efforts geared at protecting the forest and the wildlife are not undermined by poachers and illegal bush meat traders.

The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) which administers and sustainably manages the Liberian forest by law is being supported by several national and international partners including the Society for the Conservation of nature (SCNL), Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary, ELRECO, Liberia Chimpanzee, Conservation International (CI), Wlid Chimpanzee Foundation (WCF), Humane Society International (HIS), Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Others are the Ministry of Information and Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Agriculture, National Public Health Institute, UK Embassy, USAID, WABiLLED, EU and UNFAO-ECTAD, etc.

The in-door program was preceded by a parade through the principal streets of the City was led by the FDA gallant rangers, the partners, cultural groups, student group, amongst others. Essentially, It was graced by Grand Bassa County Superintendent, Janjay Baikpeh and the Senate Committee Chairman on Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Jim W. Tornonlah.

Senator Tornonlah praised the FDA management and its collaborating partners for making frantic efforts to protect the forest and the wildlife and encouraged them to keep up the good work in the interest of today and future generation. He specifically recognized the shrewdness of the current management team at FDA and hoped they would continue to keep the torch burring as they strive to manage the forest sustainably.

Meanwhile, the Deputy UK Ambassador, Kate Thompson who gave the keynote address has reiterated her country’s unremitting effort to support the conservation dream of Liberia. She proudly described the Liberian forest as very important to the rest of the world given its rich biodiversity contents. She then called for amplified vigilance on the part of national and international partners to ensure that the wishes of poachers and illegal bush meat traders are aborted at all times.

Earlier, in his special statement, FDA Managing Director C. Mike Doryen extolled the cooperation and collaboration of the partners in fostering key areas as far as protecting the forest is concerned. He used the occasion to reaffirm FDA’s commitment to the application of the wildlife law without fear or favor and hoped the rangers will continue to exercising their functions within the confines of the wildlife law adding, “No one is allowed to carry out illegal activities in the name of not having livelihood opportunity.”

It can be recalled that on 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973 – as UN World Wildlife Day to be celebrated by all countries including raising awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of this special day for wildlife on the UN calendar. World Wildlife Day has now become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife.

This year’s celebration was held under the theme: “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration”. The celebrations aimed at drawing attention to the conservation status of some of the most critically endangered species of wild fauna and flora, and to drive discussions towards imagining and implementing solutions to conserve them. All conversations were expected to  be inspired by and seek to inform efforts towards the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero hunger) 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns), 13 (Climate Action) 14 (Life Below Water) and 15 (Life on Land).

According to data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, over 8,400 species of wild fauna and flora are critically endangered, while close to 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.

Continued loss of species, habitats and ecosystems also threatens all life on Earth, including us. People everywhere rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to meet all our needs, from food, to fuel, medicines, housing, and clothing. Millions of people also rely on nature as the source of their livelihoods and economic opportunities.

In 2022, World Wildlife Day was expected to drive the debate towards the imperative need to reverse the fate of the most critically endangered species, to support the restoration of their habitats and ecosystems and to promote their sustainable use by humanity.

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