A very important day on the calendar is coming up. A holiday that hits close to home for everyone here at EnviroForensics, and really should for just about anybody else. After all, we only have one Earth, and we need to do everything we can to preserve and protect it. Sunday, June 5th marks World Environment Day. A day to celebrate the beauty around us, and truly understand the vulnerability of the wildlife we share this planet with.
It’s also a day to take action. To get out, and promote the worthy causes that will make your world a healthier, safer place, or to participate in one of the many environmentally conscience events happening in your community. The goal is to rally the world around a singular cause, and convince as many people as possible to become agents for change.
Each year the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) selects a theme to focus on. Past themes have centered on climate change, community clean ups, clean water and going green to name a few. This year, the U.N. is shining a light on the Illegal Trade in Wildlife. Animals are dying off at an alarming rate. Between 2010 and 2012, it’s estimated that we lost close to 100,000 African Elephants, and in 2015 alone, more than 1300 rhinos were killed. Poachers are to blame for this mass extermination. The value of elephant and rhino tusks constantly drives the motive of this illegal and dangerous practice. Often times, the revenue from these sales goes towards funding organized crime rings, terrorist organizations, and corrupt governments bent on retaining power and undermining human rights.
On the flip side, rooting out illegal hunting and trade and decreasing the demand for ivory has shown several positive effects. In 2012, after pledging to better protect its wildlife, sub Saharan countries grossed a robust $36 billion in tourism revenue, and each live gorilla in Uganda brings in $1 million in tourism money every year. We clearly have a vested interest in making sure these beautiful creatures are allowed to live and thrive in their natural habitats.
Click here to see the 5 things you can do to participate in World Environment Day this Sunday.