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World Wildlife Day 2020

Thriving wildlife populations in Zambia could be Zambia’s greatest asset and could positively impact the country’s economy.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Zambia, joins the rest of the world in commemorating World Wildlife Day which falls on 3rd March annually and serves as an opportunity for the international community to celebrate the globe's wild animal and plant species as well as the ecosystem services they provide.. An integral aspect of the work done by WWF focuses on saving populations of the most ecologically, economically and culturally important species in the wild  Ultimately, by protecting species, we save this beautiful, vulnerable and utterly irreplaceable planet we call home.

The theme of World Wildlife Day 2020, “Sustaining All Life on Earth”, encompasses all wild animal and plant species as a component of biodiversity as well as the livelihoods of people, especially those who live closest to the nature. It also underlines the importance of sustainable use of natural resources in support of the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including Goal 14 (Life Below Water), Goal 15 (Life on Land), Goal 1 (No Poverty) and Goal 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns). In addition, the theme is also relevant to Zambia’s attainment of its national development agenda as espoused in the seventh National Development plan as well as other national strategies that promote the sustaining of Zambia’s biodiversity, which in our view, forms a fundamental and solid base for sustaining our economy as a nation.

WWF Zambia notes that the year 2020 known as a “biodiversity super year”, will host several major global events that place biodiversity at the forefront of the global sustainable development agenda. The new deal for nature and people, is a global movement led by WWF and its partners to halt what is currently going on as a rapid decline in nature. As the population of the world grows, we know that there is a lot more pressure on natural resources. This position is also true for Zambia, which shows that by about 2050, Zambia’s population will more than double its current size and this ultimately will place tremendous pressure on our natural resources. The new deal for people and nature is looking at promoting a more sustainable production and consumption patterns that will not deplete these resources for future generations to access as well.

As we commemorate World Wildlife Day, WWF would like to draw the world’s attention to key challenges that our wildlife sector faces in Zambia and raise as a national priority the need to pay attention to conserving these for the benefit of posterity. Wildlife populations in Zambia are currently facing many threats. Key among the threats are; poaching for bush meat, wildlife trafficking for sale in global markets, habitat loss, climate change, and human-wildlife conflicts. Further, it is our observation that chronic public under-financing, coupled with policy and legislative gaps, have contributed to overall low management effectiveness in the protected areas system, a situation that needs to be reversed.

As WWF Zambia, we urge government to prioritize wildlife management and invest in its protection through increased public investments to the mandated Government departments and provide enabling conditions for private and civil society partnerships in managing wildlife estates. Furthermore, we implore government to provide additional support to ensuring the right legislation is in place for effective wildlife management that includes provision of incentives to community participation in wildlife management.  It is our belief at WWF Zambia that thriving wildlife populations could be Zambia’s greatest asset and allow for long-term sustainable economic income from the growing wildlife tourism sector that benefit the nation but also local communities,” said WWF Country Director, Nachilala Nkombo.