It's World Environment Day (WED) 2016 and the theme Go Wild for Life. It is time for zero tolerance for illegal wildlife trade. It is staggering and sad to think that this eco-crime is on the rise.
With criminal gangs and militant groups and others raking in as much as $258 billion (puts it 4 on the list ahead of illegal trade in small arms and behind drug smuggling) it's no surprise that this is a persistent and insidious issue.
Massive action has been taken to counter the illegal wildlife trade, however the stronger policies, awareness campaigns and investment into conservation and law enforcement is up against a hugely profitable racket. This means that many species remain at risk. We all need to do anything we can to turn this around.
More sad news. In ten years one quarter of the world's elephant population was killed. The ivory trade is still very strong. You can read more horrible stats and info on the World Environment Day website.
A powerful question asked by the World Environment Day PSA is "What mark will you leave on our world?" It is a daunting question, but it doesn't have to be. Don't get paralyzed with how massive this question and issue is. Take some small action. Next time you do take a vacation how about going to a place to help restore habitat or do some other volunteer work that could help curb the trade in illegal wildlife.
The WED site also overs 5 Quick Steps you can take and has a downloadable toolkit. The quick guide to celebrating World Environment Day is full of facts and figures and ways to celebrate this day. It's worth a look and let's take some action, even small and make your mark this day, this year.