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World Wildlife Day 2019

Acknowledgement, regulation, protection: all on the same day. On 3 March, six years ago, the UN Assembly signed the Convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES) and established World Wildlife Day, the world day that celebrates the world's wild animals and plants.

As if to say: if it is not possible to 'pass on the earth light' and prevent business on resources at risk, it is necessary to define stricter rules and raise awareness of the fact that three and a half billion years of evolution - which gives rise to the biodiversity of the planet - must not be compromised by unsustainable practices and business. At the heart of the 2019 edition of the World Wildlife Day is the theme "Underwater life: for people and the planet".

According to UN estimates, about three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. But human activity is too often invasive and predatory: pollution, over-exploitation of marine species, loss of coastal habitats, climate change. The constant threat to biodiversity is a threat to our very survival. Specifically, in addition to the food they provide, oceans and seas absorb 30% of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and 90% of the heat generated by climate change. It 'oxygenates' the planet. The conclusions are clear: plundering and attacking nature is self-defeating behaviour.

Pretending to forget that climate change is indissolubly linked to human production choices is a step backwards from the need for awareness that must guide all political and economic actions in the years to come. A study by Nature Climate Change has shown that, without a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, in just under 100 years future generations would be destined to witness the disappearance of many species and the most important reorganization of marine biodiversity in the last 3 million years.

The link between pollution and devastation of the seas is more evident. Recent studies have made public the quantity and type of material ingested by fish and marine organisms (among other things, polyester and fibers made of lyocell, polyvinyl and polyethylene). Policies to reduce plastics and new 'degrowth' and recycling practices address the problem, but policy times are almost never the times of the environment. The process of awareness must therefore not neglect the daily practices, civic education, the determination of each of us.

In the pictures:

Dattero di mare = Lithophaga lithophaga
Cernia bruna = Epinephelus marginatus
Corallo rosso = Corallium rubrum
Nacchera = Pinna nobilis
Sterna comune = Sterna hirundo

Photos: @Egidio Trainito

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